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Same questions, different answers

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I dont know how else to explain this phenomenon. Read on and nod along if this happens at your home, all the time:-)

6:30 am: come, have your milk both of you.

Dudu: Ma, give it to me in a cup(he has one special, no one can touch)

Ashi: tumbler and davara

8am: what do you want for lunch?

Dudu: veg rice,less veg or tomato rice less tomato

Ashi: chapathi, one cheesed, one veg

3pm: Did you finish the lunch at school?

Dudu: no chance. you put too many veg

Ashi:  i finished, why so less cheese ma?

5pm: what happened in school today?

dudu: oh? nothing much. History  teacher put us to sleep

Aashi: You know wat, teju’s mom is unwell, her dad made lunch. Tushar’s bday today and yet he was having a tiff with the math teacher. Princi made announcements about some prizes for seniors today. Shailaja miss told me that I have grown taller. I hate my best friend, mom! Aishu is better really…

 stoppp!!! :-(.. ok, have your evening tiffin and milk

Dudu: Dosa with sambar or chutney. no.. tomato sauce

Ashi: For me Dosa with cheese.., little milagai podi( chilli powder ), pls no sambar

There is some chocolate in the fridge

Dudu: i want the white bar

Ashi: ehh.i want only (brown) chocolate

Do you have some homework?

Dudu: I want to do some painting:-).  dont ask me read books to improve my..watever

 

 

Ashi: i want to read my comic. I dont want to draw that diagram in my science book:-(

Ok, now what do you want to have for dinner?

Dudu: ma, anything..watever ..curd rice, with curd:-)

Ashi: ma, noodles? no no, pasta, no something else?

– poor mommy!

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Its in the genes, I guess!!!

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My little girl, though now 8 years old, not sounding any little by the way, does exactly what little girls will be doing  at her age, and a little more!!!

 I remember sticking up posters in the so called “my room” as a teenager, including George Michaels, Tom cruise, Aamir and Salman of yesterdays, while my elder sister in her later teens pinned up Ravi sastry, and mind you, no where near my area!!! Either she felt I was too much carried away by some external influences at school as I had hardly understood Hollywood movies or hardly listened to GM except… when I visited my friend’s place. That was enough for a teenager, wasn’t it?  Anyway, Ravi sastry, according to her must have sounded more down to earth, “veryvery Indian andvery very cool”( remember the suzuki samurai ad those days???) Anyway, its a different story that she confessed recently that I introdurced her to the first ever English songs in our lives..( Last night I dreamt of San pedro..) Eppidi??(howz that???)

Coming back to the present generation(!), my little one seems to be on a perpetual poster ottifying(sticking) spree and has covered her almirah(good old godrej storewell, which she has comfortably vacated me out of!)with a collection of her short sweet write-ups, “I cant draw well like him” sounding drawings, messages for the world like save earth and water and ofcos, her hearthrobs of the season, Sinshan, Hanuman and Chota Bheem pictures all over it. She can never settle for one as her favourite from the three, btw(LOL!!!).

 One more inheritance from my sister and myself( i.e genes) that she has shown promising pride is the art of writing poems.   Im sure, as my 11 year old son rightly points out..” By now, tinkle will close shop for the number of poems and “never-short” stories this little lady brat seems to be uploading on to their site”

The little one would just not bother but relentlessly does what she wants to be doing.  All in the genes, eh? I can see my sister smile with me:-)

 

Bengaluru dream comes true!

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We planned one thursday night at 11 pm that we had to go on a vacation to Bengaluru on the very same day the kids had got done with their final exmas last week.  We were quiet sure no amount of planning would work as all train tickets would be booked by then. We made a few frantic calls to friends and long lost aquaintances to check availability of accomodation in ooty, kodai, munnar, yelagiri and yercaud. They gave us hopeless news that all was booked and we would never stand a chance at this time of summer.  They must have thought we are a crazy couple who would sit and make plans at 11pm to go on a vacation the next morning, with two kids.  We did not give up. He lost hope soon and said we may not make it.  Then, it stuck me that Bangalore was just a 5 -6 hour drive away and insisted, perstered, nagged, and cribbed  till he was forced to agree that there was not much option left.

His Bengaluru friends cautioned him that it was Ugadhi, so it may be difficult to get accomodation.  Something also to do with some political party indulging in some celebrations on a mega scale as well. He backed out and said we could go the next time. I did not. Meanwhile, his friend had texted a few hotel no. for booking  just to give it a try. We tried. Kids were looking from the corner of their sleepy eyes, not setting any expectations as they knew it was just a try.

I was jumping with joy as the hotel guy declared availabiltiy of rooms. I slept eager and happy like a school kid going for his first vacation. Within the next evening, we took a jolly drive to B’lore and landed up at the Woodlands.

This was one of our best stays ever as we did not have any big agenda . The food, especially the soups served were a lingering delight for all four of us. Kids loved the corn kababs too and we loved the cute manager who resembled a 50-50 of my dad and his elder brother. He would stop by every lady guest and ask the same thing over and over again” if you guess what this is made of, then i will bill your food for free”! The ladies would give typical answers like maida, besan, cornflour, etc and he would cutely decline with his “priestly” pony tail shaking side to side. He has been serving here for atleast 15 years, as says the pride on his face, the way he talks and walks the talk! One more cute point is, if you order for special food like panner gravy etc, then the manager would come and take the order, let it not be taken by the boys there as it seemed too technical for them to handle:-). After the food was being served, he would come by, say sweet words to the kids, pat them, show his wife and son’s pictures from his wallet and again the pride about his son’s gold medal in the university, would make his face swell up like a cute balloon! Amazing to see such people who are willing to treat people as their own and be so kind!

Looks like apart from eating 4 meals a day at the woodies, and visiting the half- a km away Lalbagh, we really did not have any plans.

ofcos, day 2 was very very enjoyable, as we visited the HAL township that I used to stay in 34 years ago! I showed the kids my Vimanapura school that I and my sis studied at, the HAL colony, the playgound, the park, the corner house..

We had quite a task finding G-561, 7th cross as we kept crossing the same house so many times and I hadnt realised it was remodeled to face a different direction.  Finally, we managed to find out and stopped. I inquired to find out that the huge cotton tree which was the landmark of my house was gone, the entrance faced the opposite lane and all the neighbours we used to have had left and migrated elsewhere.  I showed the kids my house and the flooring of one of the rooms, unchanged brought back reminiscences of my good old b’lore days, my mom, her badam milk, tomato juice, her smell, her loving presence all over the house. For a minute, i sat back, to control my tears, i was happy i could feel her in that house.

I embraced the mango tree outside the verandah, looked up and remembered how much of yeild it had given us, now it was hardly green. I recollected how my dad used to climb up and pluck gunny bags of mangoes and supply them for pickles all over the colony.How many, how many memories, those roses, those corns and balsams were all gone but the lovely couple who occupied the house now with their two little girls were warm and nice, and it gave me instant relief that the house was now someone else’s  and that they too are nice people like my parents.

My kids and their dad waited for me, knowing how much i had told them about each detail about my blore town. They waited until i felt every bit of the house and drank the same water which lingers in my tongue even after so many years.

My love and thanks to the three of them to have let me make my dream come true. Yes, going back once to feel the house was my long time dream, and this time, i have seen it come true. I realised, if you really wish for something with your whole heart, it will defintely come true someday!

Books can read one’s mind..

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Whoever said books and dogs are man’s best friends..indeed they are.  Several times it has happened to me that what runs in my mind is what I somehow get to read in an article on a news paper or some magazine or a self-indulged novel. 

And, yes, as for dogs,  i really have no experience but can vouch from hearsay experience that they are worth falling in love, ..i m  sure many agree.

My recent books from the half price sale at Landmark were 3 interesting books, out of which 2 are first time authors and the third one is by Sudha Murthy. I enjoyed all three, and could realate, recognize and appreciate where all the three authors were coming from.

” Gently falls the Bakula” was my best pick, presented in a typical indian village setting, in the state of Karnataka, with a simple rustic charm of the bakula flowers, it is really worth a good read. The central characters slowly shift to the metro life of Mumbai.  It examines how their love life starts from the adolescent age and then slowly garduates, culminating into a deep emotional bond and marriage. Deeper inside, it dwells on how the girl, shrimathi, even though much more intelligent and capable than the guy, is slowly pulled into sacrificing her own interests, passion, ambitions in life inorder to play the role of “the lady behind the successful man”. Eventually, she realises that her hero has only used up her entire life, her skills and shrewdness in building his own career, ignoring or even failing to even acknowledge that she too was quiet capable of being even more mightier than he had become. He had merely been a chauvinist, a despot and an ordinary minded guy, forgotten the very fact that Shrimathi’s intelligence, decisiveness and her simplicity were the very  reasons for his falling in love with her. Had she been even a little selfish, she would have established herself in higher position in life and proved her worth.

It is even more interesting to read how Shrimathi battles within herself to assimilate the “mere”ness of her existence.  Finally, she reaches the stage where all her decisiveness and clear thiniking helps her become stronger inside and she decides to stand up on her own feet, to pursue what she was passionate about. Although, the realisation dawns on her very late in life, she chooses to go ahead, daring to not bother about soceity or too many people and how much  a blow it would be for the guy, for whom she had pledged more than half her life, youth, intelligence and passions. Good read, good learning. Books can read too, for sure!

 

 

What goes around, comes around..

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Its amazing how the world around us functions on a given day. Sometimes, i feel i am standing at the centrifugal point where only I stand still and every other object around me keeps revolving.
I have felt this so many times as some episodes, some scenaries, some objects, some faces..these keep crossing me more than once. I keep thinking it is only my perception, some mirage, or that my mind is hallucinating these either out of craving for these or the paranoea of experiencing these all over again.
Nowadays, I have stopped disbelieving myself, more so, my inner self. As i cross the next stage in my life, i humbly accpet that i am growing older, more capable and mature. I cannot drool in self doubt all the time that what i see may not be …not what is not. Infact, what i see is what i get to see and interpret. More work now for the brain to process the RDBMS and capture the result in a nutshell. And, I have to accept logic.
I can now understand what the book “games people play” is meant for. If not as much as the writer, i think, i have atleast arrived at a point where I know why people play some games, how they do, what they get and why they will not stop. Even more interesting is how people, to satisy the hunger of a unique kind will do anything to just get that unique satisfaction or thrill. Sometimes, it may be a personal sense of victory, false pride or the final ego, which refuses to accept reality.
I have seen people who constantly brag about themselves, their choices, their supremacy over the enire human race. These brags, i have seen last only for some time and slowly lack lustre when repeated too many times. People stop their intial adoration and soon start ignoring such dummies.
Some people who are straight dealers- they dont assume airs for anything which is really their big deal. Thhey believe in moving on with life as though if they had not done the big deal, someone else would certainly have done it, and even better. so, these sincere types have no big luggage to carry and they take life as it comes, cool, calm and dedicated in whatever they have prioritised. Thses people, I know are usually cheerful and determined to achieve their goals and do not attach fame or popularity as their ultimate objectives. They are ok even to miss one or two credits if it does not come its way.No cribbing policy.
Some people, by way of their upbringing or situations, always harper a feeling that the world is full of vice elements and they would be either beaten or burried with no traceswhile competing to achieve something in life. They always find excuses for not being able to make it somehow and attribute most trivial reasons as factors that contributed to their action. Such people fail to believe that the whole world has better things to do than to sit in awe and monitor them all the time. It is a pity that instead of live and let live, they take the route dont live and dont let live. For them, they will be happy only as long as things happen in their stride but will not be able to assimilate what they could have done better.
At the end of my mini thesis, i only feel, there is only one truth that is all peravasive and that is.. “what goes around, comes around” sometimes in several mulltiples, sometimes in minute particles. We do not have any control over this process as long as the earth spins around its orbit and the world functions with human beings as the main cast and every other thing is only designed to support the main cast.

Pardah!

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PARDAH! The veil’s other side..

The black robe covers  her from top to bottom

Behind which is  hidden an entire woman

It shows not even an inch of her skin,

Not the  smile, the laughter, her mind

It veils like iron, shielding her from every man,

The colour of her hair, her skin, her lips, her heart

What still shows is those pair of eyes, filled all the time

A mystery which kills men, struggling to tear the veil

Had it only not been so mystical, her beauty no secret,

She  would have been so much safer, like so many other woman around!

This is me!

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I am smitten by a strange bug! Dont help me here, please.

By now, I have got so used to it that I cant identify myself without it.  It is not visisble on the surface though! Iam referring to some die hard viral inside me which never die come what may.  They have grown into my system all over and refuse to be flushed out  inspite of any amount of ..resolutions, advices, judgements and punitive actions. 

Let me tell you what these viruses are..

One strong virus is called “never give up”.  While this keeps me going, I dont like it much.  Whenever I want to really stop trying hard, (really), or when anybody else would have given up, I cannot.  This virus tell me ” keep going..you cant leave”.  The next one is called ” What next”.  This is more dangerous than an earthquake.. bcos, whenever there is something which goes out of control, overboard, the virus keeps giggling inside, calling out” what next”. This is terrible.  Who wants to be prepared, so much? At such times, I can imagine myself taking form of a strange kind of creature, wriggling inside a dark hole and still not afraid. Bad, i know!

The last and the most terryfying virus is the ” This is me”.  What it does is, it puts out a  front overtly brave and declares the level I can go if I feel right about something.  There are  no two ways, and my mind just spontaneously decides “this is me”.  The outcomes, i dont care bcos of the other two viruses and they really do their part well.

I am sure, after describing the viruses so much in detail, no one will come forward to help me destroy the virus.  You know what, now I feel “dont give up” and then, “What next” .  I dont care or need any one to help me do anything really.  I just need everybody to be doing what they are supposed to be and not in anyway try helping me.  I am not helpless.  My viruses will take care.  “this is me”

 

Brand New Year!!!

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” New” is always exciting..be it clothes, slippers:-), bags, jewellery, a new year, new resolutions, well,why not? I have always had fascination and an “open” secret craving for new things.  This new year, I have an interesting resolution.  It is .to be a silent observer..to talk less and observe more.  Happy to share what I happened to observe while commuting by the local train last evening:

A lady talks to someone over phone using her hands free ear plugs:

” Enna da, have you reached home”.. following some response on the other side

“Yeruma madu.konjam kuda..” following some response

“Ennaku theriyum. Shut up!” and hangs up.

The whole compartment observes a deafening silence.  All of a sudden, I hear a voice across the half length  metal  separator,  from the general compartment.  A guy speaks ..over a hands free ..

” Enna kozhuppa?”

“Nee daan sariyaana …”

“Enna Enna enna panuve??”

Pindrop silence for a minute.

All the ladies sitting in one row exchanged secret glances and a smirk without catching the eyes of the lady speaker or attracting the attention of the guy next compartment:-) . We couldnt laugh out aloud fearing the same treatment of words showered on us by either parties.

Observation: If you use hands free ear phones be assured that the whole world is observing your conversation.  High risk of people looking at you like a …no ..no..i just meanta simple  weirdo 🙂

Inference: If you still want to talk effortlessly, talk only in a foreign language or atleast be sweet to the person on the other side.

Resolution: never to buy the hands free.. its ok to still hold the phone and stop by to talk than be popular for this.  Also,very important… to stop observing and start talking more:-)

 

 

Parent Pleasure

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There is a splurge of contentment and supreme bliss, one in being a parent and more so, if something very significant is going to take place in your child’s life. I say this with a lot of joy in my voice because this is how I have felt so many times deep inside my heart everytime my children take most important steps in their life. Be it the first time my son had his happy shower at home in the hands of his inexperienced mother, the first time he had bananas- his first solid food, the first time I got his baby sister home and they both lay on either side of me making our family a complete one, the first yellow frock with laces that my daughter was wearing to get her first vaccine- the first time that we took her out of home, the first day my son stepped into play school and looked back at me from the door, school admission for my daughter, which was a cake walk because of her assured sibling seat, the first bicycle my son fell in love with, my daughter’s first pattu pavadai for her first bday gifted by her ever loving periamma! The list is endless in my mind and these little pleasures have given me so many moments of joy, filled my heart to the brim and had it overflowing with pride whenever I looked into my husband’s eyes!
I never imagined parenthood means so much! This feeling is at the peak when I see them snuggle into thier Dad’s warm arms and make the most of his lavish love extracting promises to buy them all those sweet little nothings during the weekend. They enjoy the pretentious envy in my eyes when Im refused my share of goodies and they get to have all that they wish:-) And that is exactly what I wish too.
With the size of clothes shrinking all of a sudden, I am caught in amusement as to how they both have grown so much right in front of my eyes, straight of my lap. iam all excited and geared up to take them from childhood to this precious most memorable pre teen hood:-). My son is now ready for his upanayanam, the most sacred duty of parents for their son. I wish him the best from all worlds and pray for my parents to bless him from heaven for a noble and wise life filled with happiness, love, wisdom and success.
What more can a mother wish for her dear one?

My UKMs..

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After several months of hunting for an Ultimate Kitchen Machine, a life saving gadget for a working woman which I was sure was readily discovered and available in the market, I got hold of it this sunday!

I remember having started my hunt for this UKM (Ultimate ..u know wat:-)August last year. I kept imagining of a dream machine which could cut, chop, cook, grind, squeeze, knead and whip, all at the same time.  Let me tell you..it was less difficult finding my life partner than this kitchne one(!)  Starting from Thangavel Nadar kadai down my street in mylapore, to the kitchen killadi shops like prestige outlets, viveks, shahs, and wahs of  this part of the city, I made it a point to explain that there is this UKM available in the market and I have seen it somewhere. Every other sunday outing, hopping into one of these stores was becoming like .. a bad habit!

Not to disappoint my hubby dear, and my kids, who alwasy have this” Oh No! not again!” expressions on their faces during all my shopping expeditions, I decided to redefine my needs.  In the past one year, I have got myself a microwave, hoping it would give me chat phat solutions in the mornings.  Btw, it does, bcos, nowadays, I have got into this addiction of putting in all my sambar, rasam and curry in and out of the MW atleast once, for my own gratifaction. Somehow, it gives me a real high in the kitchen and proves that I am much smarter (than you know who!!!  :).  Soon after that, I found out that it is not the actual cooking which is no big deal bcos..anyway, I have this 4 burner gas stove, where I could just put four different things and get it all done in a single shot; but its  the chopping of vegetables that takes a lot of time.  So, there I go and get my Vegetable chopper, a cute little hassle free gadget. Just press, and there you get those onions, carrots, etc chopped like in a few seconds. But the fact of the matter is, carrots get done too finely and loose out taste when you make the curryYou cannot put in beans, avarekkai or kotthavarangai , ofcos, not lady’s finger or brinjals either! The only chopping it serves is onions:-) There, I go all over again and all resolved to get that UKM from wherever it is available. In the meantime, I did not want to say no to the Induction stove, which came at a special price for a group of us at  office from a known vendor. C’mon, what’s the big fuss..anyway it will come in handy on a “no-gas day”.

I  hunted a few other stores again and I was introduced to this fascinating “11 attachments” food processor! I decided that ‘s exactly what I wanted.  All chopping, juices, kneading everything in a single gadget! Ultimate,is what  I thought. I got different prices quoted for different models/makes and it was so cool to hear what it could do untill..until I went to another store where the guy told me he would give it to me at  half the price  bcos there were really no takers!  Hubby dear made a face. “Never take anything which comes free..lets take some more time” he threatened. I meekly surrendered.  I realised, all the chopiing that it can do will only be onions again. carrots, beans may be too finely chopped and may not taste like what my kids are used to. Again, washing so many tiny blades is a pain. How about an easy knife and a smart white cutting board? simple , no dependency on power or abilities:-). If  I cant chop, I can quietly pass it on to hubby dear and say “please” . Where as if it is a machine, then the whole world thinks i do not need any help.  Using gadgets seem to be more cumbersome than the actual 30 minute cooking that I do everymorning.  The only thing I cant do is the boring Sathukodi juice, which he has been reslentlessly doing all by himself since the day I gave up:-). 

we went again this sunday bcos Hubby dear felt there’s a need for a Juicer, defintely:-) There, we went all over the place hunting again. I inssited that there’s a Juicer which can take citrus as well as other fruits  but to our utter dismay, we found out ” JUICER MEANS PURELY CITRUS JUICER OR PURELY NON CITRUS JUICER”  is what we got to hear.  we couldnt decide as to which is more for us, whether we would require a juicer which can take all fruits, whether we really make so much juice on everyday basis or whether the kids really take all the fruit juices to school everyday! The price range for juicers was from 500 to 3000.

After much thought, we  settled for a rs.600  citrus juicer which is totally uncomplicated, looks like just the citrus squeezer we normally use ( yes the plastic one) but with an electric connection so you can get the juice with some power, without much strain and stress. It looks real simple to clean as well. no high funda, no nonsense, as simple and straightforward as it can be.

Now, I have them all, United Ultimate Kitchen Machines..microwave, induction, chopper, juicer, mixer grinder and four burner stove. I realise the only way to make life easy in the morning is to chop the veggies at night and store it in the fridge for cooking in the morning. Or, yet another wasy of getting it done is get help with the chopping from you know who:-)

Simple and sweet:-)