Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy new year!! And goodbye for a while!

Wishing you all a very happy new year! I hope the coming year is filled with many happy moments, lots of laughter, cozy times with family and good health most of all!

I have been wanting to take a blogging break partly because of time issues. But I never could get myself to do it - because what started as a whim became so much a part of my life - I got so involved in the lives of the people I read about. I think about them often and if I did't read any posts from them, I wondered about what was happening at their end. Blogging felt like a life line on some days when the mundane things in life piled on so much that you felt weighed down by it all. Reading about a child's achievement, a travel escapade, a school play, a funny incident, a monthly update all served to cheer me up on those days. And on days I did post, it was exciting to look to see if any one had read it and commented on it. It all became an addiction. I have gotten to know some wonderful people through these blogs and felt a sense of community despite having very little time to meet people and socialize in a group locally. I will miss it all terribly which is why I want to safely call this a blogging break - because I would like to come back to it some day when I feel like it. And hopefully have a few people still visit my site and leave comments and make some connection. I thank very sincerely the people who have read my posts and left me comments and also established a more personal connection through email. I will of course still be accessible on email. I don't want to make this too dramatic for I don't know really if any one will even notice - but for the few who do, I wanted to say a proper good bye before taking a break! Hope the year 2009 is a wonderful one for you and your family!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Shweta walked passed the vanity sink to get her red sequined Sari from the walk-in closet. She started draping it around her and threw the pallu over her shoulder. For a second she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She wondered for a second if it was really her. She had taken a month off from her graduate studies for her wedding in Delhi. Just six months back she had been toiling in her computer laboratory working late hours and having no thoughts of a wedding. Rajesh walked into her life and changed all of that. She had plenty of talent, had excellent education and sharp features too. Yet she had never felt comfortable in social settings and would retreat to a corner. She never felt that she had the smoothness of conversation that her friend Vidya did. She had envied Vidya for her cool demeanor around her male friends. So many of them had fallen for Vidya while Shweta had always been the friend, the confidante to the men who sought out her friend. They would befriend her to gain access to Vidya.

When Rajesh approached her and asked her out for dinner, she was sure this was about playing messenger to Vidya. She never felt animosity towards her for that but could not help feeling disappointed at the thought when it came to Rajesh. He was the mate she had in her mind. The intelligent look in his eyes, the accessible demeanor, passion for music, being able to converse well in Tamil, he even wore thin rimmed glasses just like the image she had in mind. And to see this guy falling for her friend. Why couldn't this one person have liked her and not Vidya? She cursed herself for her bad luck and bit her lip and tried to conceal her emotions as they sat down to eat.

The rest of the evening and the months that followed still felt like a dream. Rajesh had very simply told her that he liked her and would like to marry her. Straight. No dating, no mind games. To the extent she wondered if there was a catch. If there was something she was missing here. Things fell in place so smoothly that she lost track of time and of herself. For someone who had never dated anyone, to be accepted and desired so sincerely by the man of her dreams made it hard for her keep her feet on the ground. She felt like she really understood what cloud nine meant during those months.

She put the sindoor on her forehead and admired herself. She had started wearing eye liner and lip gloss ever since she got engaged. She had suddenly felt a desire to look beautiful, not just pleasing. She started wearing bright clothes and bold earrings. She stood in front of the vanity mirror and thought of her good luck. She now had a wonderful husband and not just that. She had a mother-in-law who was beyond belief. She treated Shweta like a queen. She gave them space and let them have their time together. She never expected her to cook and praised her singing when Rajesh asked her to sing at family gatherings.

Rajesh and Shweta got into the car and left for Bangalore. Mrs.Govind as she was known to many of her students put her feet up and let herself absorb the vacant feeling in the house. The house guests had finally left that morning and after three weeks of frenzied activity, she had two days to herself. Even her husband had gone out of town on work. She thought of her daughter-in-law. The focus of her son's attention now. Mrs.Govind had raised him well and given him all that she could as a mother. And now her job was done. She felt good but it was bitter sweet. She had been a school principal and had an air of sophistication about her that her daughter-in-law did not. They were wealthy in comparison and had more refined tastes in her opinion. As a daughter-in-law, she felt Shweta was no match for her. She did not speak English with a crisp accent. She looked good but dressed simply. She never wore high heels or sleeveless blouses. They lived in a large bungalow in Delhi but Shweta grew up in a two bedroom flat in Madurai. She does have brains though, Mrs.Govind thought to herself. And she seems to be more at peace with herself than I am at this point, she muttered silently.

She went upstairs to rest up and sort out her muddled thoughts. What is it she wanted out of her daughter-in-law? She was lucky to have Shweta in her life. She knew that. But she felt a feeling of hatred wash over her when she was alone at home. Yes, she was alone. In more than one sense of the word. She had prepared for this mentally and yet she found herself unprepared. As she walked up to her room, she passed by Rajesh's room. Not his room anymore, their room she thought to herself. She walked past the room and suddenly turned back and gave into impulse. She opened the door and walked in to catch a glimpse of Shweta's personal life. Curiosity took over the best of her. The crisp accented, power wielding, bold, wealthy, well dressed Mrs.Govind found herself peering into her new daughter-in-laws suitcase. She felt sick even as she walked in. She opened it gingerly and found jeans and sweaters, couple of books, salwars and Saris tossed in carelessly. Nothing interesting she thought to herself. She got up to leave before she puked at her own behavior completely lacking in culture. Her eyes fell on the little music box on the side pouch. Feeling disgusted with herself, she still pulled it out and opened it. "To my only love" the personal inscription read. She hurriedly put it back unable to stand any of it. She quickly put it back in place and rushed out of her room. She put her head back on the pillow and felt tears rushing down. She turned on her favorite ghazals on the CD player by her bedside and turned around and closed her eyes.

P.S. Fictional, based on hearsay and imagined characters!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

KB's preschool update II

I wrote this post on Sep.29.08 - nearly three months back. Funny how you worry your brains out about something and then three months later (well much sooner in this case but I am writing about it only now) you have forgotten about the tension you went through then. At that time, I had been wondering what to do about KB's preschool situation. I had chosen that school thinking it was a good fit for KB and I liked the play atmosphere in the school. But then KB cried so much that after a month of trying, the director told me to take a month off and bring him back. I had been quite upset that they called me each time he cried thus not giving him a chance to just cry it out for a few days and eventually get used to school. Well, things just work out in the way they are meant to work out.

I had written about this preschool program that I started taking KB to since early October. For the first three weeks, I used to drop him in the classroom, but I would be walking in the park outside the classroom. KB knew I was in the vicinity. In the beginning of November, when my cousin and her family visited me, she dropped him in school and the whole gang went later to pick him up. My cousin, her husband and two children, my mami - all of them! That was the first day he was dropped off and I was not there in the vicinity. From that point on, either me and B drop him off at school and then I go to pick him up. He looks really happy there. He does some craft every day and he proudly shows it to me. The kids who come there are all between ages three and five - so he gets to interact with younger and older kids and he seems quite comfortable with it.

It reamains to be seen how well he will adjust when he goes to a proper school with longer hours. But for now I am most happy that this is exactly what I wanted out of preschool for KB at age three - one that will make him happy and one where he will do some stuff and have fun doing it. He plays different games each day - duck and goose game or kids soccer etc. They trace one page of some alphabet each day. Just simple tracing games like match the letter to the picture and then trace the letter type stuff. And they read two or three books to them each day while the kids are eating snack. Even after I go to pick him up, he continues playing there for another fifteen minutes! Knock on wood.

Last year, I searched all over the place for a preschool for KB. I might never have picked this place because it wasn't what I was looking for. But the way things turned out, KB made his choice and somehow it seems like the best thing that could have happened for now. Am hoping the next school he goes to for age four (he turns four in Aug 09), the transition goes smoothly. I decided not to move him to another school in Jan itself but to wait till July of 09. I don't know if he is missing out on serious learning but I don't feel like rocking the boat now. KB is enjoying himself, so I just want to let it be! Well, the little man seems to make his own choices anyway!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to more bloggers who must choose more and include this text into the body of their award.

Thanks to CA and to Mammamia for this award. They truly deserve this award. I would have passed it on to them had not received this award already!

I pass it on to these people who also are truly deserving of this award. They are warm, down to earth and always make you feel like you can drop them a line even if you don't know them and you have this feeling that they will respond with warmth. Even if you don't actually write to them, you get that kind of feeling from their writing.



Kodi's mom

Collection of stars (who has stopped blogging for a while!)

Bangalore mom




Saturday, December 20, 2008

Once a parent, always a parent...

I think back to the days when I was a student. I had this image of finishing school, getting a job, getting married, having kids etc. I have older siblings so I saw them go through it all even as I was a young girl in middle school. I had spent good amount of time playing with and cuddling and enjoying my nieces and nephews. I remember how my first nephew used to cry his guts out on some days when he was left alone with us (when his parents went out) and we would pray that his then nanny should be still in the neighborhood so we could go get her to calm him down. Which she could really do like magic. Or how my sister used to sound out words to my niece when she was a preschooler - like "sss ah t" (for sat) etc while giving her dinner. And how my other sister told her husband they would just have to cancel their trip to India because they forgot to put my nephew's "Nebulizer" in the van (he was asthmatic) on the way to the airport stopping at my brother's place on the way. My brother made calls to local pharmacies and managed to find one that would sell them one right away. I remember my second brother concealing his anxiety and praying to God standing in his pooja room while my nephew went through a temporary but severe phase of alopecia. And I think back on those little and big moments now and see it more clearly - what it means to be a parent. How you can't help but celebrate your children's every acheivement and how their every little pain is yours to bear as well.

I read this post by Mad Momma and I could feel her joy. And really felt pride at the little boy's accomplishment on getting potty trained and being able to carry on this basic function independently. I read this post by Tharini just now (and these somewhat prompted me to write this post) and I felt like physically reaching out and patting Winkie on his back for such a commendable job. On what? On being able to go through the tedious process of wearing the whole set of winter gear patiently and correctly. And to actually not take up his mom on the offer of getting dropped off in school. What more reward does a parent want than knowing the child is learning to fly on his own? These posts might have seemed like posts on trivial every day things from a giddy mom before I became a mom myself. I don't know - just wondering if I would have appreciated as much what each of these things mean to a parent before I became one myself. It is indeed a giddy feeling when your child is able to do the simplest of things on his own. From latching on perfectly as an infant to nurse, being able to look at your eyes and smile, to roll over, to roll a ball, to saying mamma, to look at the birds in awe, to point to the moon on a summer night...every moment, a celebration. Deep within. That is only shared in equal magnitude by the other parent. In the look they give each other and knowing that the other person too feels like jumping in delight. And in that feeling deep within when you feel like you are blessed infinitely - that your child is able to do every simple thing that we take for granted. But as a parent, you do feel pride when you read about children who you get to know through blogs - in some sense you watch them grow - in a different way - through the written word. You imagine their personalities and you marvel at the little things they do. I still remember some of Winkie's art work, Ayaan's arrangement of flowers, Beanie talking clear words at a very early age, Sooraj's lovely gift for his many little things like that. These are children I have not met but only read about them through the mommy blogs. I relate to the pride the mother's feel when they write about them because that is what being a parent does to you. And it makes you realize what an important task you have at hand. That of raising children. Precious little ones that are moulded to a large extent by how much nurturing the parents are able to provide them.

I read this recently and agreed with No 1 on the list. To be able to provide your child with abundant love and to make the child feel secure in his/her early childhood years is an important task at hand. You know you love the child, but to make the child know that and to make him feel secure as a person is much harder than teaching academic concepts in my opinion. It sometimes fills me with anxiety when B remarks jokingly to me as to how much KB is influenced by my every action. While I sometimes loose my temper and yell at B in the middle of an argument, I see KB absorbing all my tones and inflections. And it later shows up in his own actions in some other instance. It is hard to become a saint as a parent. I console myself that KB has to know me as me and not as some saint that I am not in reality. Anger is as much as part of me as love is. I have to try to be good as much as I tell KB to be good. It is the trying that is even more important than winning or losing. I have to first convince myself of it before I teach KB that. But in all of the trials I go through in raising my children to the best of my ability, I realize how much I am growing in the spirit of the word as a person. They have enriched my life like nothing else has in the past and I pray that I have the courage and will to accept them as they are when they grow up and not set rigid expectations as to who they should become. I feel a sense of gratitude towards destiny for allowing me the privilege of being a parent. It takes being one to know what it means in the truest sense of the word.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The jet lands on...


That's our new continents game. I got a "Do it yourself kit" for KB where they have pre cut pieces to assemble a jet plane, race car, bird house etc. It is a lot of fun because he gets to smooth out the wood with sand paper and then paint it and then glue the pieces together to make a jet or race car.

We made the jet yesterday - he had a lot of fun painting it and was quite amused when he mixed (they only had five colors in the kit) blue and yellow and found that it turned green. He woke up this morning and told me about it with the tone of "Did you know, Mamma?".

After KG went to bed, KB and I were playing around with his newly created jet plane. I pretended like it took off and was high up in the air and I turned around and asked him which continent it was going to land on. He said, "North America"! I pretended that the couch was North America and I landed his jet plane on it. But I remembered his continents table mat he had and brought it out. KB really got into the game once I brought this out and then he took over the jet plane. I would say, "Oh, the jet plane is landing in Australia" and he would land the plane there. Then he took a piece of paper and pretended that it was the key to open the jet plane and he then let the people out. He proceeded to say that the people were all tired and needed some coffee. So he turned to the couch and made some coffee after heating some water and adding some coffee powder. (Looks like he only makes black coffee!). I then told him how awesome his coffee was and he said, "People Saptutaa maa coffee'aa" (People finished the coffee). He then went to the pretend sink and dumped their mugs in there. Then the "people" rang the door bell and I welcomed them to Australia and they all apparently had a great time there.

The jet plane took off again and I would say "Antartica" and he would land it in Antartica (on the mat). And he decided it was too cold there and so made them hot chocolate. Juice for those who landed in Africa. A bowl of soup for those who landed in Europe. And a loud welcome to the people who landed in each of these places and great hospitality with all these drinks served as soon as they set foot on the continent!

It was great fun being a part of this make believe world where every thing was so simple and straight forward and there were no lines in between to be read or rifles to be feared. It was a blissful half an hour for me. B returned home from work and KB enacted the whole scene for him with great excitement.