The Scorpios

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Monday, December 31, 2007

Counting My Blessings 2007

Another year ends and here I am sitting in Hubby's office in Pondicherry, doing a self-introspection and resolution making for 2008

I take pride in...
  1. Regularising my exercise routine- the best gift for myself has been my enrolment to the gym. Weight loss and getting into shape being the key goal. But I discovered that I enjoyed doing it and have extended my membership. I amazed myself by controlling the hunger pangs and snacking binges. I achieved my weight loss first target, gained back some of the lost kilos and want to start full swing after the holiday binging comes into control.
  2. Driving- The new job forced me to drive my way to the workplace and I have it to thank for the confidence it gave me. I no longer rely on anyone to take me around but I am confident that I can manage the odd hospital visits, tailor trips or an outing with a friend on my own.
  3. Reading with kids- this is something that has given me personal satisfaction. My kids can point out and name correctly all that I have taught them and I take full credit for channelising their knowledge by way of buying the right books and relentlessly taking them through it everyday, every moment. I have treated every occasion with them as a learning opportunity, be it while we are driving or watching TV or playing or shopping. I am proud that they have a thirst for books (fingers crossed) and hope the same continues
  4. Blogging- I have continued with full ardour and I am glad I am able to churn out posts and crystallize thoughts. The blogger badges and getting featured in the Telegraph and Indian Bloggers list have added to my enthusiasm. I am particularly happy with the factual fiction series. I only wish I had the time to blog hop much more and leave behind my thoughts on all posts I read.
  5. Secretary to the society- I continued the role, albeit with a little detachment due to kid management issues. I could have done better but I chose to resign from the post after my term was up. I had proven a point to myself and the society that if I could do it despite kids and work so could others. I hope I have inspired people to volunteer more for the building.
  6. Travel- survived a week long trip and another 1-nighter and enjoyed the experience. Did miss the kids terribly though. Did the much awaited 15-day vacation with the kids. Also managed a few weekends at Pondicherry and visited the alma mater.
  7. Shopping- My favourite activity got due justice. Multi-location shopping managed all for clothes mostly. Refreshed the kids and my wardrobe with a whole lot of new clothes. Picked up patterns, colours and styles that I used to never do before, thereby moving away from my stereotype. My Lajpat Nagar shopping dreams were finally realized after 8 years of trying and failing. Both cars- Swift and Honda City were brought home this year.
  8. Reading- Fed on short story selections all year. My favourite this year has been none other than Harry Potter. After multiple re-reads, I am hoping that I have finally come to terms with the closure.
  9. Homemaker- we are surviving hubby's absence during the weekdays because of the business and that to me is the biggest achievement. Seriously, it is not easy being the only person in charge.
  10. Business- Hubby left his job and is full time into the business. My contribution towards it has been the website content management until the launch. I could have done a better job had I comprehended completely what I was doing.
  11. Food- Did many lunches/ dinners with and without kids, with family or friends. I have realized that doing a meal without the kids is the best time to catch up with friends or spouse or family and so I plan to do it more often. I have realized that one can enjoy a social/ business meal too, given the right company.
  12. Appearance- Finally had the courage to get a new hair style and I am pleased with the results.
  13. We got Duggi as a gift and much has been said about that. He has taken residence in Pondicherry and is a much grown up dog now, dominating and scaring the kids. The tables have turned now.

I solemnly resolve that...

1. Ojas & Tejas- We will put them in school this Feb. We have selected a school that is to our taste in terms of facilities, environment, location. A place where kids will love to come back to. We are hoping to let them stay on till 12th Std. They have to learn to cycle and I need to take them out more often. They have discovered the joys of playing in the sand and I intend to make it possiblefor them to do more of that. The beach is one more destination I need to go more often. The first visit to the Auro beach at Pondy had Ojas screaming and curling his legs up (exactly how I did when I was of that age). The learning sessions to continue and Table manners/ Ps and Qs to be taught

2. Travel- I want to do atleast a couple of joy trips this year and a few weekends depending on the schedules.

3. Work- be more focussed rather than generic, do better than what I did this year. I need to reinvent and surpass myself. Need to get more involved in hubby's business even though I can't make head or tail of what he is doing computer/techno-blind spot

4. Entertainment- Did a marathon round of movies in December (DVDs only). I found I have enjoyed doing it. This needs to continue.

5. Parties- A poor show in 2007. Can't let that happen again

6. Wardrobe- Both mine and the kids- has to be up to date, more trips to orphanage with old stuff and toys/ shoes.

7. Home Management- poor show again this year. Completely in a mess. Need to put my act together for this.

8. To myself- More self discipline

Friday, December 28, 2007

Factual Fiction- Argument

He was going to lose the argument. He had no points to counter the verbal charade. He had to think something fast.
Eeks, Stop. I can't take it anymore. Your mouth is stinking.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Brand Me- My Name

Piecing together disjointed thoughts
A wise man said that the beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. When a child is born, parents go through great lengths to select the appropriate name for their child. All goes well for a girl until she gets married. She is supposed and expected to change her surname and adopt her husband's name or surname. While for men, the same does not hold true in the patriarchal society. Infact, come to think of it, men do not have too many hassles except for seemingly changing allegiance from one woman to another- the mother to the wife, shifting from one breast to another!
For women, a whole lot of decisions to make, emotions to consider, people to answer to- whether she should sport the various signs of marriage, what dress she should wear in the presence of whom, whether it is compulsary to use the bindi, flowers, bangles, and also the automatic assumption that the name must change.
I have nothing against the signs of marriage. Infact I myself display them proudly, solely because I like having them on me, not because I have to please my husband. If my mangalsutra does not go well with my attire, I don't wear it, and when I do wear it, it is displayed and not hidden behind my clothing. I don't do flowers but I do bangles- lots of them. It's all a matter of preference and liking rather than compulsion. I don't judge people who don't wear them and I don't bother to explain to anyone why I take the trouble to wear them.
I never did change my name officially. For all practical purpose, I still hold my maiden name. Call it asserting my feminity or importance by holding on to the surname of one man (father) rather than another (husband) - which is a contradiction of sorts- a woman (and a man too) still needs to back her name with a man's name no matter how modern she may be.
I did not change my name apart from practical reasons, because in South, there is no concept of family name/surname. You have to hold on to your father's name or husband's name resulting in a mixed bag of feminine and masculine name as your name unless the man's name is a generic sounding one- which was not to my taste at all. Moreover there was this practical problem of official documents, emails, etc. I hate confusion of any sort.
For all my blog related work, I attach my husband's name as (sheepish look on my face) it is numerologically lucky and it sounds cool to have a pen name (high hopes!).
I have had hilarious mistakes- we being called as Mr & Mrs (my surname) by doctors, travels and sundry others.
I have encountered annoying questions- why are you not changing your name- why the hell should I or rather why the hell should I answer you. I don't think in this day and age this topic discussed between a much older person and today's generation will lead to satisfactory answers for both.
I have been asked whether (my surname) is my husband. Why don't you ask me straight- what is your husband's name, rather than asking yes/no questions.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali has attached his mother's name to his. A very sweet gesture. Probably I would have liked my daughter to contain my name in hers using a play of letters and words- wishful thinking! Not because I want to defy tradition, but because it is a nice feeling. Just like how any parent wants the child to look like him/her.
Hubby and I have had our discussions on my name stance- girls love adopting their husband's name- why not me. My argument is my love does not lessen or increase based on whether I take his name. I know he will love it if I adopt his name but I like the fact that he is liberal about his views on my preferences across the signs of marriage (name included).
Most of the time I live for today and I have a right to change my mind if tomorrow my idealogies and views change. Until then, it is status quo.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Photo Feature- This is what we did in Patna

Bought Cheap Toys at the door step Called the Snake Charmer
Visited the Club all bundled up
Participated in the Satnarayan Katha

Went to Bade Nana's house


Painted the town red dressed up like heroes

Played at our favourite spotAllowed Mom to feed me if she allowed me to slide and make my pant seats dirty
Ate in the garden only
Watched the grapefruits in the tree and called them orange





Monday, December 24, 2007

Sure Signs

Sure Signs that Ojas & Tejas are Bihari

  1. Sh is pronounced as S- Issaan, Sip (Ship)
  2. Fish is pronounced as Phiss
  3. Roti and Daal eaten with relish
  4. Potato is enjoyed immensely
  5. They say budhu, bamaas (badmaash) very often

Sure Signs that they are Madrasi (Tamil)

  1. They love dosa (dooffaa)
  2. They love idly (Aidly)
  3. They say Dekko for dekho and bai for bhai
  4. They say Vennaaaa (venda), seep (comb), pais (speak on phone) quite often

Sure Signs that they are Angrej chale gaye unko chod gaye

  1. They like to eat cake as breakfast (happy to you)

Sure Signs that they are their momma's sons

  1. They love chip (chips), gulabjamun, non-veg(chicken), aaloo bhujiya (pixture)
  2. They love bookch and puzzles
  3. They love Tukkis (chocolate)

Sure Signs they are their Dadda's sons

  1. They love fruits, jam, bread, chocolate
Sure Signs that they are confused
  1. they mix up between who is Eshan and who is Aryamman
addenda
Heights of blame game- Ojas doing potty on the floor and blaming that "Dadda' did it or the soft toy dog did it
Height of acting- my brother kissed Tejas and he complained- chot (bruise)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Office Humour

His mails are so long, I am unable to read them on the laptop. So I always take a print...
And read them in the toilet.

Hello, is this Siva? (35 year old man)
Ganapaty (60 plus)- No I am Siva's son Ganapaty speaking.

Our Brahmin Dean- I thought I was the only punster in the family. Now my wife is also catching on. She calls me a "pun"dit.

AD- how old are you?
AS- you should not ask men their age.
AD without missing a beat- ok, so what is your salary?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Factual Fiction- Kaleidoscope

The trio bent over the newly purchased kaleidoscope. They shrieked excitedly as they moved the pieces trying to solve the first challenge as quickly as possible.
"Sshh he (CEO) is coming"
The quickthinker AD quickly shoved the pieces haphazardously into her drawer and jabbed madly at the keyboard.
"What's going on?"
The quickthinker said "Just going over this article, Amway has launched a new perfume"

They will never learn. Just a day before they had barely escaped being caught playing Bookworm

Monday, December 17, 2007

Back Home- My 251st post

Back home after my much deserved vacation.
I could have shopped more,
...if only I had the space to carry them all. Blame it on Air Deccan's luggage limits.
...if only the kids would have agreed to stay at home and give me a few precious hours to shop hop.
...if only I had more sickness free days...Blame it on the Patna water that definitely causes stomach problems.
Anyway, to sum it all up...

A break helps in more ways than one can think of.

Other things that help to revive, pep you up when you are feeling low or bored...

  1. Shopping- tops my list, even window shopping helps.
  2. A lunch / afternoon date with a friend / group of friends- especially if you bunk office for that. Fodder for the stomach and the gossippy tongue
  3. A vacation
  4. Blogging and blog hopping/ net surfing
  5. Parlour visit
  6. Giving multiple dress material to the tailor for stitching, fixing up the patterns for each and then getting them back
  7. A solo time at the coffee shop
  8. Cathing up on the phone with mom or friends or relatives
  9. Late night gossip sessions
  10. A random book especially some fiction with a pack of snacks
  11. Spring cleaning your cupboard, finding long lost clothes and recycling them or discarding the non-useable ones

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Factual Fiction- Ragging

The ragging would continue for a month.
She left hostel for college with her long hair plaited into two braids, attired in salwar suit and neatly pinned up dupatta, her new pair of hawai chappals adorning her feet.
She walked for 15 minutes, stopped at a corner, furtively looked around and removed her high heeled sandals from her bag. Quickly she removed the chappals and stuffed them into her bag. She would reverse the process on her way back to the hostel.
2 braids were ok. Salwar suits for a month was ok. But bathroom slippers to college, and that too without the comfort of doing it in a group of newcomers, being the only girl in a class of 140?
Naah.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Factual Fiction- Truncated

The Office Buddhu/ Long Mail Sender- Do you know the meaning of truncated?
She- yes, cut short (knowing fully well why he was asking the question)

A week later- yes a full week later
The Office Buddhu/ Long Mail Sender- Have you heard of the word truncated.
She- Yes
The Office Buddhu/ Long Mail Sender- I am getting this message at the end of every mail- "this mail is truncated"
She- "High time you call the IS", setting the mail options to "retrieve full documents" instead of "retreive only summary & 40kb" and instructing how to download the truncated mails.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Factual Fiction- Alarm Clock

She was sick of her dormitory mate. She had enough of that girl setting her alarm clock at God forsaken hours of the morning. Enough of waking up at the monotonous incessant sound of alarm clock, enough of forcing herself of jabbing her sleeping dormitory mate to wake her up and then again waking up with the loud snores of that girl sleeping hunched over her medical entrance book, with the 200watt bulb glaring over her eyes.

The monotonous sound of the alarm clock woke her up. It's 2'o clock, cuckdoo koo.
She woke up quickly, jammed the alarm button down, switched off the overhead light (left on from the previous night) and for the first time in 3 months, slept peacefully for the entire night.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Factual Fiction- Picturesque

The boss asked her to create the entire marketing presentation for the top management.
Put in lot of pictures to depict the trends. Send me a note on the narration for the slides.
You won't need the narration, I will pitch in while you are presenting.
You may not be there when I am presenting it- only the sales team will be present.

She laughed to herself as she created the presentation full of cartoon pictures depicting the trends. She ensured that the presentation carried her unique signature style.

Now picture this picturesque presentation being done to the top guns, watched by the entire team. Obviously not his work.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Patna Tales

4th wedding anniversary spen away from hubby - for the 1st time today.
Both kids pucking away to glory- some infection I guess- electrobion given
Ojas fell into a bucket of water- mildly shocked!
seen- donkey on the road- delighted
talking hindi relatively fluently- connecting words, repeating after us when we talk
shitting on the adult potty seat as no other option available- singing in the loo also
making parody- good boy good boy good boy, where have you been (to the tune of pussy cat pussy cat where have you been)
loving the plastic tea set- serving us coffee in them
love the plastic animal model toys
can recognize colours- black is mummy car, red is mausi car, and so on - can recite the colour names too.
can say numbers in tamil- upto 10 by rote
can recite few notes from the sargam- sa re ga
Shopping worth Rs 15k- blown up in 5 designer saris and 2 suits - still raring to go for more

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

This was for tharini


Factual Fiction- Shutting the Big Mouth

The Office Big Mouth- All you girls dozing in the bus and looking sleepy in the office. After marriage wonder why you all are always sleepy.
She- Atleast you have no proof of what we are doing in the night. But in your case, we all know what exactly you are doing- you have 2 living proofs- 1 boy and 1 girl by now.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Winter Vacation

eating potato chips early morning in the train

Languishing in Patna at the start of winter.

Lazy mornings, gossip sessions and the only thing I need to worry is kids management.

Feeling like an SAHM minus the trappings of home management, and other jobs including husband management that take up an SAHM's time.

That's why, I realize ladies love coming back to their parent's place.

I plan to make the most of this stay.

Spend as much time with the kids - make up for what my job does not allow.

The story so far...

The flight to Kolkatta was uneventful except that Ojas was mighty scared during take off and landing. They discovered life size air-planes and loved it judging by the look on their faces.

s quick trip to the bathroom and we were off to the pre paid taxi. The rules say 4 adults & 25 kg allowed per taxi. We could not undertsand why the cabbie made such a big deal of 3 adults, 2 kids, 3 suitcases, 2 air bags. One adult himself is atleast 70 kg so why he was creating such a fuss about overloading, we could not fathom. Well,a big fight and a change of cabs later we had a nail biting journey of an hour. Reached right on time together with a leaking overfull diaper- result of no big job done at home!

We did it all- potty, eating, messing mausi's jeans with susu when the diaper was off, changing into comfortable pajamas, messing the entire compartment with aaloo bhujiya/ chips/ cheeselings, sleeping.

Inspite of that everyone said the kids are not naughty.

There was a general discussion among passengers-

both are same except one has a hair cut. ..

Are they identical or fraternal?

The girl isalso wearing shirt .....

Both are dressed alike except for the colour of the shirt...



They have discovered Buffaloes and Ojas is very scared of them. Stays hidden inside the house when any crosses the road.

They loved the huge grapefruits hanging from the tree in the house

Points of interests-

"Kai pichish"- colour pencils/ crayons (which they hide between the mosquito net and mattress while sleeping)

Bookch, newspapers

Our old toys- they love play-acting on the plastic tea set.

All the soft toys- penguin, rabbit, teddy esp






Friday, November 30, 2007

Factual Fiction - Wickedness

She walked into the room, straight to the wardrobe.
She rubbed her hands all over the lock and the area around it.
The fine sprinkle of talcum powder was smudged, obviously and completely.
Delightfully, she hugged her secret to herself as her husband's sister came home in the evening and raged- "who has opened my wardrobe? "

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wicked Wicked- Tag

When she was good she was very very good
When she was bad, she was wicked

Listing 7 wonderfully satisfying wicked things that I have done so far and intending to pass this on as a tag.

1. Stayed on the right lane when a VIP motorcade was following. Did not switch to the left lane until I could hear the frantic blaring of "left, left" from their microphone and could see the first car nearing my bumper. And budging only after I had leisurely given the left signal for their convenience.

2. Stuffed hubby's wet towel into his cupboard after months of enduring it being left out on the bed.

3. In our PG hostel, we had an incoming only phone. This phone was via a private line and it was possible to get bills for local calls also. There were a set of girls who used to sit on the phone for hours together and when we complained, they asked the landlady to give them outgoing facility with lock and key provided to them. The number pad was locked with a plastic cover with a lock-key facility stuck on it using a 2-way tape. These girls used to make calls for hours together. 3 long suffering members- me included made many local calls to unknown numbers by just pulling out the locking pad and sticking it back. Another method was to just tap the buttons on the cradle - once for 1, twice for 2 and so on until the full number was dialled. Those blokes could never figure out who were making so many calls from their locked telephone.

4. I was house hunting- pre marriage days. There were a few cases where I made calls and they insisted they wanted vegetarians only/ brahmins only. The last straw was when the person on the other side told me extremely rudely that he did not entertain single/ non vegetarians / brahmins. I just told him equally rudely - "you are one asshole, do you know". That felt good. If he was so particular then why didn't he spend a few bucks and put that on the advertisement. In desperation, just a few days before my PG was closing down, I found a place and told the landlord that I eat but cannot cook non-veg. I am not sure whether he understood the truth behind it, but he gave it to me for rent anyway.

5. There was this girl who was trying to monopolize my then-not-yet-my-hubby when we were out on a college trip. My friend and I went and loudly told him when he was with his friends that this girl has the hots for him (in not so many words off-course as with my hubby's limited slang vocab, he would have thought she has a fever or something). That ensured that he was never seen in too much close proximity of her during the rest of the trip.

6. We were discussing how difficult it is to get a job with competition - that too in big or bigger ones. (Ours industry is heavily guarded when it comes to competitive intelligence so moving to competition is expected but not accepted very sportingly). I participated with my 2-bits and more and next day put in my papers for moving to competition.

7. Writing about all this and other wicked stuff knowing fully well that the persons concerned would not be reading it.

I am tagging ArtNavy, MadMomma, Usha, Hiphopgmom, Rohini, Fuzzy Logic and anyone who is game to do it. C'mon, burp it out!

One wicked thing you could do is it go here if you haven't already done it-

asterix
A more honourable thing would be to buy it from here

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Factual Fiction- Happiness and the Other Side of It

Yes, I am happy for him that he is getting a chance to go abroad. I love to see him happy and excited about it.
A tiny green monster is beginning to rear its ugly head.

He will enjoy there and I am stuck back here with my routine. He will have fun with friends and relatives there while I am left out. He will shop, see places and me- zilch. And to top it all, it’s his birthday while he is there and they will wish him, hug him, party for him. Not me.
At least he could say he is sad to leave me alone. Atleast he could say that -wish I was coming with him and maybe next time I could join him.
I am happy for him but if he just said he is sad to go alone and annoyed about the continuous meetings he has to do, I would feel better.

Why does she think that I am enjoying all this?
Cruising through different time zones in short periods, back breaking journey, waiting at airports and battling my way through customs, marathon client meetings, food not to my taste, compulsory outings with relatives/ clients (can’t offend them, can I, I would rather relax and do my own thing).
I admit I love to travel and it is a break from routine. I love the heady feeling of success post every client meeting. But then, that’s all to it. Nothing more. I hardly visit places – neither the time nor the inclination to do it without her. But why can’t she understand? Do I need to specifically spell it out to her that I would rather be on a holiday with her than be doing this every now and then?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

When my heart came in my mouth

We have a centre table with a glass top. Ojas & Tejas were playing on it and I was having a tough time trying to prevent them from jumping on it, sitting right next to them on a sofa. For a few seconds, I got diverted with the live show on TV and trying to holdTejas in my lap who was asking for "Godi". And crash. I turn my head and find Ojas lying in a nest of broken glass. I was scared to pull him out for fear of hurting him further. I managed to pull him out and at a first glance we could see no blood. And then he started bleeding from various places. There is a semi deep cut on the calf and minor cuts all over his leg and buttock. Nothing severe but I was shaking for a while, blamin myself for not being vigilant enough. Blaming myself for not stopping them strictly and getting diverted by the TV. Blaming Hubby for not putting the glass away when I told him to do so the last time. Blaming myself for having the glass table at all in the house.
He recovered pretty soon and I found both of them discussing the accident. Pointing at the frame of the table and making sounds of the glass breaking.
This is the 2nd time Ojas has managed to do it. He has broken a side table before.

Last night, Ojas was having a shell shaped plastic key chain piece with him. He was just clutching it tightly in his fingers and refusing to give it to me. I was waiting for him to sleep as he normally falls asleep within 10 minutes of the lights going off, and planned to take it from his hands after that. Both normally keep single keys/ coins in their hands and they never put them inside their mouth. Unluckily, I began drifting to sleep before he slept and suddenly I heard a choking sound from Ojas. My impulsive reaction was to poke my finger in and try prying out the stuck object. And just in time I put him on his tummy and hit hard on the back of the neck. He began screaming and I guess that the object must be out. I groped in the dark and found the objct thankfully. Shit, how could I be so careless and how could I assume that he will not push stuff into his mouth. I could not sleep for a long time and ignoring Tejas I was hugging him tight for quite some time. After that I asked him sarcastically, do you want to put anything in your mouth, he said "na na". Lesson well learnt.

Both do not like to have room temperature water. They say "na na" " thanda pani" and point at the fridge.
The latest is that the say and then do not simply point at the fridge. They pull out the bottle of cold water and close the fridge door with much more than necessary force and give it to me to pour out for them. And they check the temperature of the water before drinking by feeling the glass surface. Today he pulled the bottle in such a manner that he managed to pull of the rack above the bottle rack and in the process dropped all the garlic paste/ jam/ chutney bottles lined up on it and the bottle too as a finale. Thankfully nothing was broken.
I have noted that they tell each other "stupid", "shut up", 'shit" in the same vein in which they say "aay Got" (Oh my God) - culprit me turning red with shame and making lot of noise, hoping no one realizes that this is what they are saying. Since I am the only one who is able to decipher their language, and not engrossed in TV too much to miss their idle chatter completely, it makes it easier for me to mask what they are saying.
They try to connect 3 words as I have taught them Dadda, Please, Shoes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Live Shows

They make me cry...
I cry for the winner.
I cry for the loser.
I cry for their family.
I cry for their mentors.
And life is difficult at that point of time because I am busy trying to hide the tears from the co-viewers.
I cry because I see myself and how I felt at times of disappointment, no matter how little.
I cry when I imagine what it would be like if my kids faced a major disappointment.
I wonder what Harshit felt...standing there, so close yet so far. If he could just reach out and take the trophy away for himself?
What he could have felt like doing, just so that he could reverse the final few moments in his favour.
He had just said that winning did not matter, but it does, doesn't it?

But for that matter, isn't it the hunt that matters more than the kill?
They live in our minds until the chase is on. After that, they are just one among the many in the race for the best.
Frankly I don't even remember the names of the previous Live show winners- and those were household names until the show was on!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Playschool Update

The first step is taken. 6 playschools visited last morning and scores tallied for each.
The last I talked about playschool I had listed a number of things I wanted the school to take them through.
I am beginning to have 2 minds about whether I really want them to have an action packed playschool routine.
Why have I decided to send them? Interaction, Socializing, Developing Emotional Quotient, Learning, Discipline...The reasons are many and for each need there is an answer.
There are playschools who teach social skills and others do theme based activity and yet others have computers to create awareness on technology.
Finally, if I have to get down to the core reason for going to playschool- it is emotive and social development, group dynamics and interatcing with their own kind. Therefore, do I need hi tech, 5 star facilities? There is definitely a feel good factor about going to places like this that have hi fi facilities like play gym, computers, CC cameras and a host of other deliverables.
Ultimately, I want a place that is clean, conducive to the child's needs, bright, airy, spacious, having polite and patient teachers, and a fair sized group of kids.

What are the choices? The teaching method is montessory backed in all places. The costs would be ranging from Rs 1500 per month to Rs 4000 per month depending upon the brand equity of the school and the location and decor of the premises. The set of activities would be colouring/ painting, games, gardening, sand pit, play pool, computer, rhymes, reading/ picture books, educational toys. The other training would be dining skills, toilet learning, organising skills.
There are schools that insist that you keep the child there upto nursery school as they don't want to work on the child and then send them off to other nursery schools where the child may plan to do the primary/ secondary education.
There are schools who follow diaper free environment- they remove the diaper the moment the child is within the premises. They provide a bag and tray where the kid's clothes are kept and in due course the child is able to pick out his own and do a change of clothes. They have installed child sized western toilets and maintain time sheets. Some insist that the child be sent in diapers and claim that in a month's time, the child will want to throw the diaper off and get toilet trained more due to peer pressure than conscious training.
Some schools provide glass crockery, thereby training the child on how to handle fragile objects. Some have individual tables for each child to do his food and activities, some put mats on the floor for all activities.
Some schools have a full fledged garden where the child is allowed to experiment.
There are schools that provide meals/ snacks and some require us to send a snack pack.
Some schools provide pick-up- drop facilities.
Some look messy, some are spotless.
Some follow a non interference and non- force technique and others have a curriculum to follow- like a tree month- parts of tree, what lives on trees, rhymes on trees, mini projects on trees etc, or colour month or shapes month.
Some want the child to stay for only an hour and some are as long as 4 hours.
The teacher student ratio is around 1 :5
What is the decision?
The question is, how much can you pack in a 4 hour duration, meals, games, activities, training, the list of claims is endless and I am getting sceptical about how much do kids actually do. What am I paying for? For something that I can do as well myself- my kids can read, write, do rhymes, puzzles. I have a play pool, they can operate the TV, A/C, Laptop, if guven the chance, they can feed themselves to an extent, I am diaper free at home so why am I sending them to schools at all?
If it is only for group dynamics, interaction, Sun TV free environment, estabilishing a routine then why do I worry about how educative they are going to be? Why am I attracted towards the schools that fall in the Rs4000 cost bracket, promise all activities and also ask me to keep them in diapers?
I sometimes think that if I were a SAHM I would have educated them at home. I would have read up the internet for montessory stuff and visited all schools to see what they are doing and then followed a curriculum. I would have taken them on organised trips, and made them cut paper with safe scissors and taken them regularly to play in the sand. I would stick up alphabet and animal charts all over the place, collect as many abacus toys and puzzles, books and colours and have had an action packed day with them. Provided I didn't have to cook, supervise maids, keep house, do the internet, socialize, shop etc etc. But maybe if I were really a SAHM, I would have torn my hair off by now and sent them off to school, desperate to get a 4 hour break.
As of now, nothing is good enough for my precious babies. No one is good enough to handle them as well as I can. So I am going to visit another place that has a pick up & drop facility, costs Rs 1500 average, promise all activities, provide food, kids are excited to go there and come back happy, content, clean and dry and 2 of my hi-fi neighbours are extremely pleased with the services.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Photo Feature

Resplendant in their casual shirts and shorts purchased at Fashion Folks - going for Diwali purchase
Ojas- my very own Krishna eyeing the kaju katlis on the gharaunda...strategises to reach it. Tejas looks on and Duggi's soft toy lies unceremoniously yet strategically right in front of the puja, face down . Also notice, this is the first time they are wearing clothes of different styles. Ojas had been eyeing this blue one for a few months now but I could not give it to him as it was not to his size.
Closing on the target
Feasting away...
Mom & Sons join in the Laxmi Puja. Also seen one of the saris bought in Kolkatta
Tejas - the 2nd Krishna realizes that he needs to do exactly what Ojas did
He will be satisfied with the entire Column of Kaju Katlis.
Incidentally, the gharaunda (mini house) seen in the pics is the one I have used to demonstrate the parts of a house- and actions like shut the door, open the window.. I don't know why Ojas did a "climb the roof" on his own- I never told him that.
Tejas insisted that white vinegar bottle was water...I was forced to give him a sip and it was worth watching his face.
Both have taken to teaching each other using their books
They borrowed by chakla- belan and a mini roti that I make for them and rolled out their own "otee"
Dosa is called 'Doo faa'
Duggi is being missed after his departure to Pondy
I gave them new pillow cases. The matching bed spread was spread on the other bed. Ojas went and pulled it off by the corner and proceeded to drag it to his room- assuming that matching bed spreads and pillow cases were supposed to be together no matter what.
The latest nick name is Gola- which they repeat as Goya
We want to get a set of desk/ table and chair for Ojas & Tejas
Is it the right age to buy it?- I would want them to use it for reading/ puzzles/ play dough / other activities and may be also eating as I find the high chair quite dangerous as they are perpetually standing on them
Which is the best place to buy them?
What size/ design will go on for a few years?
Help plss.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tag- To the guys with a question mark on their face

Shobana tagged me to give answers to 20 questions that guys wanted to know from girls

1. How do you feel after a one night stand?
Is it such a big deal?

2. Do you ever get used to wearing a thong?
Do you?

3. Does it hurt?
Does it hurt you?

4. Do you know when you are acting crazy?
We plan to the last detail

5. Does size really matter?
Yes.
That got you checking it out!

6. When the bill comes are you still a feminist?
Depends on how you define a feminist

7. Why do you take so long to get ready?
You would too, if you had to worry about matching & clashing colors, not repeating outfits and accessories to go with it.

8. Do you watch porn, too?
Watch it? We read it and write it too!

9. Will something from Tiffany’s solve everything?
again, size does matter.

10. Are guys as big of a mystery to you as you are to us?
No, we are resigned to the fact that you are all the same, only with different faces & names to tell you apart.

11. Why do you sometimes think you look fat?
You can never be too thin or too rich.

12. Why are you always late?
a) To keep up with you
b) we are worried anout looking fat

13. Does it bother you when we scratch?
Yes, just in case you offer your hand for a handshake or borrow my pen or use my comp or car, or…

14. Do you wish you could pee standing up?
Who said we can’t?

15. Why do so many women cut their hair short as soon as they get married?
This is to say that ‘mom, you are no longer in control’ and ‘Husband, or anyone else, you have no say in the matter’

16. How often do you think about sex?
Let’s see, aaa, well, it is easier to answer how often we don’t think about it

17. What do you think of women who sleep with guys on the first date?
Not played hard to get enough

18. Would you?
See 17 above.

19. Do you realize every guy wants a girl just like his mom?
a) Your father is to blame, if he could not provide you 2 mothers.
b) Yes, and we cannot lower my standards to reach your expectations.
c) Keeping fingers crossed- I should get a son exactly like you.

20. Why does every woman think she can change him?
She believes she has the power to correct the damages done so far

21. Does it matter what car I drive?
No, as long as it is big and expensive and classy and oh, well, that explains it all

22. Do you ever fart?
Do you think we are aliens with built in gas elimination systems?

Now, smart women, men believe in statistics. So please do them a favour and answer them-
Art Navy, Fuzzy, Gauri, Kiran, Suki, Sue

Monday, November 19, 2007

Happy Without Nappy (Happier without Diaper???)

Chucked out the Nappy Pads during the nights since last week for Tejas and since last 3 nights for Ojas. I just need to wake up at around 2.30-3.00 am and get them do a round of susu and another one at 6.30-7.00 am. Now what does this tell you about us?
It tells us that-
  1. The hubby is snoring away happily through out this ordeal.
  2. The extra pack of nappy pads - (brand extra care- Rs 120 for 30 and a free nappy inside from Shanthi's), that I so thoughtfully purchased may not be used- touch wood!
  3. Yours truly is totally bleary eyed in office.
  4. Yours truly is tensed the entire night at the prospect of failure or missing the alarm.
  5. Yours truly is responsible for changing the alarms twice each night.
  6. There is a danger of yours truly missing her gym session in the morning if Tejas happens to stay awake after the 2nd round of susu break.
  7. It means that yours truly needs to be prepared with a milk bottle to administer before waking the kids up because - see point number 1 above
  8. It means that the bottle weaning cannot be completed for sometime now.
  9. It means that we are happy about doing our tiny bit for the environment
  10. It means that we feel good about letting the kids comfortable for the night

The weekend was hectic- Every 1 hour was timed to take the kids for susu- again no mean feat achieved by yours truly alone because the hubby was busy and the maid claims that she is unable to make Ojas& Tejas comply.

I have taken a set of prints of kids and cats sitting on the pot- both the adult and the kid size ones. Trying to motivate them to do their thing on their pot.

Deductions for the readers

1. All this is done in anticipation for the forthcoming holiday.

2. Because we are getting ready to put them in school

3. Because we sick off filthy shorts, dirty floor and piling laundry

4. Life is easier when the maids take their breaks if the kid is toilet trained

5. We don't want to spend on diapers- all the "foreign diapers- cheaper by the bulk" are exhausted.

6. We are fed up of returning home after every accident in the diaper or changing in the car or embarassing ourselves at every friend's place and carrying back the gift pack to put in a dustbin.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eventful 2 days

Lost-
The Solitaire Diamond on my engagement ring dropped off...the 2nd thing that hubby presented that I have managed to lose- the first being the gold+ platinum bracelet that he so thoughtfully bought for me- I had been yearning to buy one for a few years. I don't think I will ever buy another bracelet for sometime- I feel so bad just thinking of it.

Overheard-
Ojas pointing at the picture of the sun- Chunn
Tejas correcting him- Na na Sunn

Won-
The first project that I had been briefed on exactly a year ago has materialized. This is a new guy entering confectionery. Though we did get random wins over the year, this was a must win and was giving me jitters all year with hopes raised high on it. This was my first presentation that I had created for this company and was very appreciated both on home ground and customer site.

Hi Bye
Ojas & Tejas were playing. Suddenly they come to me. Ojas clasps my hand and says- "How do do."
Tejas quickly tells - "Bye" and runs off.

Discovered
Dreamworld board books in Tamil at Words&Worth, Besant Nagar. Those interested can pop in. I need some in Hindi now! Maybe the Bihar trip will help.
Also they are offering 15% discount on selected copies of Tintin & Asterix.

A new, lovely looking boutique near Kalachetra Foundation- ned to explore them and blog about them.

Controlled
Duggi chased Ojas when he was trying to poop. Ojas wriggled his index finger at him and said- Duggi, no, sit. Duggi obediently sat down at a respectful distance.

Revised
Re-read "not a penny more, not a penny less" by Jeffery Archer. The magic is still there. He should do a sequel to give back all the money.

Purchased
Dilbert Future, Coma- Robin Cook, John Grisham- Skipping Christmas. I am one of those few who have never read Robin Cook. I intend to start with one as it seems less daunting now rather than during my school days.

Hurt
Tejas dashed against the sofa and bled on the lips. His teeth hurt his lips and the upper lip got mildly swollen. Kind of scary- his lips full of blood and as usual my nose picked up the smell of blood before actually seeing it when he came crying into the kitchen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Silly Vegetable Song

Created impromptu last night while making Ojas & Tejas sleep.

Sung to the tune of Pussy Cat Pussy Cat where have you been...
Potato, tomato where have you been?
Lima Bean, Long Bean why are n’t you seen?
We have been to kitchen to dance with French Bean.

Sung to the tune of A, B, C, D, E, F, G...
Radish, beetroot, cucumber, carrot,
Mix them together, make a salad.
Put the okra in a tokra,
Send the mushroom into his room.
Ginger – Garlic make a paste,
Onion is so good to taste.
Pumpkin is so big and yellow,
Brinjal is a fatty fellow.

After that I ran out of creativity...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Duggi in Trouble

Duggi has done the unpardonable... he has put his teeth on Tejas' penis. He loves eating shit and runs behind them the moment he smells it. In the confusion, he dug his teeth in the wrong place. It is full of scratches, has bled a little and completely swollen. The poor boy was highly uncomfortable and unable to willingly pass urine. Though this has not lessened his love for Duggi. This is the 2nd time he has done it. The 1st time he scratched his groin playfully and we escaped without any medication.
This time, we immediately washed with soap and water, applied dettol (as it is done in any wound) and took him to the doctor. The doctor said that while the dog is vaccinated and the kid has taken the TT vaccines on schedule, nothing to worry. But there may be a 1% chance of danger so it is up to the parents to put him on a Rabipur course.
Even if it is 0.1% chance, I am not taking the risk. There is no 2nd thoughts to it unless there is a chance of scary side effects of the injections- which there is not.
The course will take 1 month. Comprises of 5 injections- Day 0, Day 3, Day 7, Day 14 and Day 30, each costing Rs 300. He has to take medication for 2 days and there is an ointment to be applied.
Hubby says he will take Duggi to Pondicherry until he is a little older. I am reserving my comments for the moment. I have said enough about the wisdom of having a pup at home when the kids are not old enough to undertsand the responsibility and we do not have time to spare for the new member of the family. He needs his share of exercise, love, games - it is not just about feeding him on time and taking care of his toilet and bed. You have to give him the entire package and moreover you get attached to him in a very few days. If he is out of sight for even a few minutes the kids come running to us with a questionmark on their face and tears welling in their eyes- Duggi? They will miss him terribly but I am still quiet. If I say anything, the onus of everything is on me and I am saving my backside by keeping quiet.
A peek into Duggi's personal space will show you his few wordly possessions- 3 rubber rabbits, 1 Minny Mouse soft toy, Minny Mouse's red frock, a plastic toy- I seriously felt I am intruding by peeping there. It all looked so cute with Duggi sleeping on his back peacefully among his things, I felt sorry that he has to leave temporarily.
I don't want to get angry at BIL for gifting Duggi without taking my consent and debating the pros and cons with me. I want to get even. I want to gift him a cow or a buffalo on his birthday.

On a more happier note, Tejas has correctly spotted all the plus signs in various colours in malar Hospital- he ought to, after the number of visits he has made. He even picked the cross on Mother Teresa painting at the foot of the staircase.
He pointed correctly at the doctor, first aid kit, etc as read in his books.
He has also been correctly pointing out at all red cars as Mausi car, all black cars as Mummy car and any light to dark colour car that resembles a Honda City as Dadda Car and any blue car as Nana car.
They have picked up the maid language of saying "edo" instead of "this" or "ye" in Hindi. I have been trying to make them unlearn it all this while and finally yesterday Tejas pointed at things saying- 'Ye'.
I picked up another selection of board books - with colours, wild animals, foods, birds, fruits (the previous book has been missing so I got a new one)- all Alkas, Navneets, Vikas and Dreamland publications costing anything between Rs 20- 35. The Dreamland ones are really best of the lot in quality and sophisticated looking in colour combinations and print.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Last Long Weekend of the Year

Diwali Release No 1 (Ojas) was scared shit of the noisy crackers. It took a long while for him to get used to the noise and brave on foot to stomp out the "Snake" remains.
Freaked out on Cashew Katli- Taken directly from the Puja while Mamma's eyes were shut in prayer.
More progress on the chalk drawing book - they are actually trying to colour the pictures and dislike it when I try my hand at it.
Learnt Johnny Johnny - found it hilarious
Slept without milk bottle in the nights- the trick of reading them into zzzland worked.
They can recite many of their veggies without the aid of the book.
First attempt at sitting on the adult potty with the child seat- no luck with the output inspite of 4 books read to pass the time
Radio, Moped, Scooter, See Saw, Curtains, Injection (with mock crying sound when mock injection is administered), Drums- favourite things learnt and actively recognized
Managed without the absconding baby maid for 3 days- no sweat at all! Some better time management helped.
First self fed complete meal managed- Noodles
Freaked out on Pickut, Pixture, Chuckis, Nice (biscuit, mixture, chocolate, Ice Tea)
Quarreled with each other for Pechhil (pencil)
Took Duggi out - clutching tightly to his new leash- behaving perfectly like the master in command- even scolding him for soiling in the wrong places (a case of look who is talking)

Check out Crayola's fun pages...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Talking About the Facts of Life

When is the right time to have that talk with the kids? A question that parents are faced for generations. Some avoid it altogether, some do it right before the kid is getting married, some rely upon older siblings or friends to do it for them. Mad Momma discussed the pros and cons of doing it too early and it set me thinking. She has a set of questions, which I attempt to answer for myself.

Speaking for myself- we learnt it when we were in class 10- we had a seminar - sort of prayer meeting plus facts of life thing.. we were not clear beforehand on what it is supposed to be exactly though... I guess the principal should have given a brief outline on what to expect. In a very clinical way, the priest/father explained the whole thing and most of us were kind of shocked that all the respectable and even the meek looking elders do it this way!! I am talking of a time 16 years ago - in a christian school, small town and all- we were pretty victorian and goody goody. Later on sidney sheldons / jeffery archers drove the whole idea into the mind and the shock sort of wore off!!
But today's context is different, the kids know more and faster than any of us did in our time and may be the right time may chance upon us much before we actually expect. By this post, I would like to prepare myself for it so that the chance is not sprung upon me and I miss the bus due to lack of preparedness.

A lot of importance is given to physical closeness for atleast the 1st 2 years of a baby's life. It is said that physical bonding goes a long way in developing confidence among children and therefore the massages and even a bath along with the infant helps.
Slowly we begin to discourage them from walking into our rooms when we are changing explaining privacy and "shame shame- puppy shame". This becomes a buzz word- if in school your knickers are seen- it is "haww shame shame". If the teacher's strap or a classmate's undergarment ouline is visible through the dress, again it is a matter of interest and becomes the talk of the town. A lot of "shame" is attached to exposure and slowly it becomes a dirty word altogether. Once they grow up, we make them unlearn that there is no "Shame" it is all natural and what you have is nothing different from what the rest of the world has. Kind of confusing is it not?

When to start asking kids to move out when you are changing- I guess after 2 years, it would be a good idea to start changing out of their view and when they begin to understand, start explaining the idea of privacy. I would do it more for my comfort level- I wouldn't want them to remember me in my birthday suit. No right or wrong debate here- it is just what I feel is right.

Name it right- I would rather use the right word for the body part rather than any rude or euphemised nick name for it. I would want them to be comfortable with human body and not feel that any part is dirty or shameful. But I would like to let the idea sink in that it is not socially acceptable to bare it all. Just like it is socially acceptable to cough or sneeze in public but not to fart or burp impolitely.

When to Talk about It- I like the way MM puts it- not to get ideas into their head prematurely. I am hoping I will know when the kids are ready for the knowledge. A time will come when they will realize that this is a doubt that needs to be clarified. At that time I will find a way to do it.
If I had a daughter I would have explained the concept of periods and what is the logic of women having it and not men. And gradually I would have given her the talk, making it casual yet important enough to make it a mother to daughter thing.

As for the boys, they get introduced to porn pretty soon via their friends/ net etc. I will perhaps make my husband talk about it the moment we feel my kids are ready for it- probably class 8th or before - depends when the time comes we will know it- I am relying on my instincts. The tone of the talk should be the role that men play in baby making and how it is a responsibility and not a matter of superiority or a thing to take advantage of. If I could teach my boys to treat women with respect, I would feel like a succesful parent. In our family, boys are taught that the girl/ woman is Laxmi, to be treated with respect and to be cared for and protected. I am not trying to put it in chivalrous or chauvinistic light but such a sentiment goes a long way in fostering respect for women in the boys.

Should Schools Talk about It- Definitely- school is where we get our basic knowledge and why not this- may be the biology teacher or the principal or some teacher of stature should be doing it. I do not believe that girls should be given sex education separately from boys but may be they could hold a separate/ anonymous question- answer session for them - perhaps they may not be very comfortable asking questions in front of the opposite sex. I remember there used to be extreme discomfort and rude cracks from the boys when the reproductive system chapter used to be taught.

Siblings Sharing Room- I wouldn't say no to it. During my wedding, we slept on the floor- girls in separate room and boys in the hall along more due to lack of space than propreity. We cheeky lot allowed our cousin to come in and give his wife company, promising that we will keep our eyes shut! Among our cousins, our comfort level is very high so probably it worked for us and may not work for everyone. We will take it as it comes. But principally, I am not against it.

We come from a mentality where even going to the loo or girls saying that I am going to the loo is something to be ashamed of or laughed at. During my geology college trip, our professors locked the boys in the bus so that we could take advantage of the privacy to do the bushes. But none of us admitted what we were doing! Today I casually tell my colleagues that I need to go to the loo. One even coolly remarked, "ghar se kar ke nahin aati ho aur airport par mujhe wait karati ho."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Some New Beginnings

We have taken out their high chairs (again) and this weekend, the entire family sat down on the dining table for the meals. I am hoping this will create a positive influence on them towards meals. We gave them their plates, bowls and spoons and they had a good time taking helpings of fruit/ chicken etc. We bought them melamine cups for milk but one of them cracked when it was thrown from the high chair. Tejas said "Aur Chaahiye" when he wanted more.

Tejas said "Ot-is-thees?" (what is this) scolding Duggi.

They have almost forgotten how to place the jigsaw pieces correctly, though they know where each piece fit. Because of the books, we had not been doing the jigsaw for a few months. (miraculously, one of the jigsaw trays with animal photos and sounds is missing. The maid is being questioned)

We did the housekepping of the shoes and toys and have cleared the old ones.

We started the play do yesterday and both demanded that we make potatoes. Duggi almost swallowed some dough.

We also started the kit of picture book and chalks but need close supervision as they are breaking the chalks off.

They loved the new picture books that they have got. There is one page with the hospital theme. They love the injection act that I do for them..hopefully they will like it when I take them for their vaccinations next weekend!

We bought them new jeans and shorts from Lifestyle. Needed to change Ojas' diapers there and it was tough doing so without a diaper changing station. I had to ask the cleaning lady to help me out.

Latest words or illustrations learnt- curtain and plane goes zzzzzz, broken leg (Tutti), Doctor

They freaked out on laddoos yesterday

Tried training Duggi- Ojas was patiently standing holding out a toy and commanding Duggi - Jump

Another nickname- didn't I say I did not have a knack for nicks- Adisa-baba, which Tejas repeats as "A-baba"

Friday, November 02, 2007

2nd Birthday Celebrations

The heroes of the occassion wore their new T-shirts and Trousers (previously gifted by their Mami and Mami-Nani) respectively. New shoes gifted by Tatta & Paati were worn. I picked them up at Metro yesterday and they were just right fit. So I called Metro (adyar) that I would need 1 size bigger and they very sweetly send their person with the bigger size shoes to our place and we exchanged them. A big thankyou to Metro adyar.

Cake- chocolate cake from cake world in the shape of a fish (dolphin) as that was among the first few words they had learnt. We parents got the kids to cut their cake for the first time after 2 years. Last year it was the granparents who did that. Clean sweep by the time the part ended. Infact ArtNavy missed the cake and poori.

The Haul- a good haul of books and puzzles this year, including some gift vouchers- all from Words & Worth luckily. Restoring my faith in the fun of gifting!
Mausi gifted them puzzles, kids' crockery and air filled fish. The fish were a big hit.
Some of the gifts were passed on to the maids who have small children
The rest have been stashed in my cupboard to pass on to them two at a time so that every month has something exciting in store for them.
The take home gifts- Reynolds pen set + board game, water color boxes, color pencils, tiny board books, pencils.
The Menu- Poori, chole, gulabjamun, cutlet.
The Guests- aroud 50 kids from the complex. Some of our friends who have "girlfriends and friends" of my kids' age- Both An(o)ushkas expecially. Another friend where we regularly camp out for dinner (SS & V). And some close school friends of my hubby.
A few Mums joined in to ensure that their little kids managed to feed themselves. Thank you for doing that. It was heartening to see a few older brothers/ sisters taking complete care of their younger sibling, especially during the games & eating.
Games- Chinese whispers ( failed miserably), Musical chairs (great confusion as some of the kids would sit before the music (plate & spoon) ended) and fire in the mountain- succesful as this was organised by Priya my neighbour's daughter- Thank you.
Birthday Song- Ojas & Tejas were quite dazed especially when the entire crowd sang 'Happy...To You" for them. Even though I had been practicing with them for a month.
Duggi- resplendant in his red ribbon.
Moral of the story-
  • Never delay the cake cutting beyond 20 minutes after every kid has arrived. They keep pestering you that they are hungry
  • Either do not have multiple gifts or if you have age wise gifts, tell them firmly that whatever is fished out for them is final- no exchanges. Beware of repeat requests.
  • Always ask one of the proactive kids to organise the games.
  • Phase out food and drinks. And when they are troubling you too much for cold drinks/ food- distract them by giving away the take-home gifts. They will forget that they wanted specifically Pepsi or Mirinda.
  • Always invite the older friends to arrive after the kids have left. This worked well for me as then I could sit and catch up with them.
  • Appoint the official photographer/ videographer well in advance. And let it be someone other than the husband. Else he will simply take refuge behind it and stand in one corner and enjoy the proceedings while you struggle with your kid and the rest of the kids. Refer photograph.
  • Always ask the mom of the younger kids to join you. They will help you with their own kids and also some of the others while you are busy doing overall supervision.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Dear Eshan (Tejas) & Aryamman (Ojas)


Wish you a very Happy 2nd Birthday. From 00.30 am I was replaying in my mind, what the 3 of us and your Dadda were doing at this time, exactly 2 years ago. Going to the hospital!
To tell you the truth, I did not expect that you would be out of my tummy in less than 5 hours. I wanted to wake up at 5.15 am and wish you both silently but never got round to waking up. I would have seen you for the first time only after 9 am and surprisingly Ojas, you woke up around that time today!
At 00.00 am we cut your mini birthday cake. This year you had the pleasure of doing it yourself- mauling the cake with the cutlery knife and feeding yourself with hands/ spoon and even directly into the mouth! It was a cute sight and a sign of growing up! Wanting to cut your own birthday cake!
Dadda took you both out for a drive by the beach. For the first time Tejas, you said bye and walked away with Dadda without throwing a tantrum for me to come. I can't say that I was elated about it!
This is the 2nd time I was alone in the house after you both were born. You were out for just around 20 minutes but I missed you both dreadfully the moment you had gone out. The home felt shallow without your presence.
The last 2 years have been a humbling experience.
I have realized that it is not easy to be patient with you both when you are throwing a tantrum yet if I lose my cool, the job gets tougher. Bringing you up has taught me that anger is not the route to a solution.
You have taught me that even if you are running absolutely short of time, there is still time to squeeze in for a goodbye hug and a kiss each, to take me throughout the day.
You have taught me to let go and also cling on. There are times when I have wanted to have you back safely within me so that you are completely protected from all illness and pains and other times I have left you in the hands of the caregivers even when you were ill.
I have lost patience with you and smacked you in the backside and the next moment I have regretted doing it.
I have been proud of your reading/ puzzle making abilities and overall communication methods and despaired at you not being potty trained or not weaning off the bottle and not eating well.

A friend of mine today wished me "Happy Anniversary" - on my 2 years of motherhood! Very touching- Thank you AD. True, every parent should celebrate the birth of their child(ren) as an anniversary of motherhood / fatherhood also!

You are 2 today and I have lot of exciting things to look forward for you the following year.


  • Foremost I want to look for a good school for you to take some time off away from we adults and enjoy the company of your age group.

  • I am looking forward for a 15 day break where we take you to your native place and I get to spend "quality and quantity" time with you. With my job, and the pressures of running the home, it becomes difficult to give you both as much attention as I would like to.

  • We will look at doing some swimming classes if time permits since you both love splashing in your private pool. I don't want you to grow up being mortally scared of water even after learning swimming.

  • Another 4 months and we will start training Duggi together if you both allow it to happen.

  • We will have more bookch to read from. We have to learn our colours yet. and more of nursery rhymes and songs

  • Post Diwali we will introduce you formally to writing via the ceremony.

  • We hope you will potty train yourself soon.

  • We hope you will move to self feeding partially atleast. This year I want to be creative with the foods and snacks I do for you.

Kissie, Hugs and Pyaar Karo!

Mumma

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ojas Tejas Update

A day before their birthday- Checklist
1. Can sing "Happy ...To You"- my attempt to get them used to the birthday idea for the entire month succeeded
2. Can point correctly at all the objects in their many bookch and even the corresponding physical object. Doesn't matter if clock is pointed as watch or clock both.
3. They still use their bottle because they fell ill mid way during the weaning process.
4. New words part of their vocab - even wothout looking at their bookch- cucumber, peacoch, goosie (goose), paapio (buffalo)...
5. They know which book carries what pictures - they judge by the cover!
6. They mention duggi in their sleep. Infact they do not antagonise him so much.
7. They expect that thy would be taken out if they wear their chappas.
8. They know where the chocolate (chockache) is stored in the fridge.
9. They ask for Thanda Pani (cold water from the fridge)
10. They can demand for bikku (biscuit) and eat peanut - jaggery balls in many numbers.
11. They love chickich (chicken) and I guess they can smell it. I opened a box of fish curry and Ojas immediately asked for chickich
12. They can dance to Goochy (goosie goosie gander) and are you sleeping rhymes.
13. They can get fooled by Duggi who distracts them and when they follow him to a corner, he runs back and occupies their rocking chair.
14. They are still not toilet trained to my distress. They can ask for eveything they want but cannot say that they want to do potty.
15. They use a pencil or a pen as the stylus for mobile phones.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Going to Travel

This December, I would be going to Patna for a break. Will be flying to Calcutta and take the train to Patna.
I am pretty excited about taking the kids via train. This would be their first train journey. Very nervous about how they will take to the confinement.
Blog Pals! Could you please give me some ideas on what food should I take for the kids?
This will be overnight travel and I need to be equipped with filling food for one dinner and evening snacks.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

We Are Famous


We Mom Bloggers Share space in The Telegraph on Sunday.
While you can read the article here, I am copying it down below for posteriety.
The invite read: “You must be able to tolerate discussions on poop, breasts and other unmentionables that mommies talk about. And it would be nice if you told us that our kids are super-smart and that we look sexy.”
The event was a Sunday afternoon get-together. The venue: a hip Bangalore café. Though none of the invitees had ever met before, they were no strangers — for they were all mothers with a passion for blogging. After months of exchanging notes on potty training and teething woes online, some of the Bangalore moms decided to meet each other. Plans are now afoot for similar meetings in other cities.
Step into the world of mommy blogs where the Internet-savvy Indian mum is bonding with other mothers. The moms may be a bit cagey about revealing their full identities but are eager to bombard the world with every little detail about their little ones’ lives.
Clearly, the Internet has turned into a networking and creative forum. Bangalore-based software engineer Sangeeta admits that she started blogging on babiesanon.wordpress.com with the intention of meeting like-minded moms. For Shobana, a stay-at-home-mother based in the US, blogging is a way to unwind. “When I write and read posts, it is like I am at a café with my girlfriends and I am discussing their children with a mug of coffee in my hands.”
Most mommies who blog like to catch up with one another to get suggestions on parenting. So when Sangeeta was in a dilemma about whether to cut her two-year-old daughter Poppin’s little ponytail, she asked for ideas on her blog. And when DDmom’s elder daughter was to start school she urged experienced mothers to come up with lunch box suggestions on her blog (http://penningmythoughts.com/ddmomsweblog/category/day-care/).
“Mommy blogs are catching on because the Internet is a close part of our lives today,” explains Samir Parikh, consultant psychiatrist, Max Healthcare, Delhi. “Moreover, with the changing social milieu and with the emergence of a nuclear family system, mothers have little time to communicate with other mums. Blogging helps them to express their thoughts and connect with like-minded people,” he says.

Blogging moms are also taking over a role once played by their mothers and grandmothers. They turn to each other for advice on parenting, and, unlike many of the older female family members, they understand the pressures and problems of the present generation. “Earlier, if your grandmother asked you to do something, you followed the practice without questioning. But today moms want convenient and less time-consuming answers,” says Riti, a Chennai-based marketing executive. “State a problem on your blog and you will be bombarded with experiences. Pick and choose your solution,” says Riti, who has been sharing her experiences about raising her one-year-old twins on itchingtowriteblogs.blogspot.com.
Besides bonding with one another, the mums find blogging a great way to record the milestones in their child’s life — from the first haircut to a trip to the playschool. On moppettales. blogspot.com, Nikita, a young mom, writes about the daily adventures of her 18-month-old daughter, Moppet.
Though most mommy bloggers want to remain anonymous, they have no qualms about revealing their kid’s identity. Almost all blogs are peppered with cute pictures of their cherubs. Subha, a Switzerland-based mom who writes boosbabytalk.blogspot.com, was pleasantly surprised when on a visit to Chennai a young mother with two children in tow asked her, “Aren’t you Boo from Boosbabytalk?” Says Subha, “I was completely taken aback. Apparently, she recognised my daughter who was with me from the photos I post on my blog.”
The enormity of the mommy blog world urged Subha to start a separate blog called indianmommies. blogspot.com to document all mommy blogs. Besides Subha’s blog directory, there is also desimomzclub. blogspot.com and www. saffrontree.org, an online kiddie book club that brings Indian moms together online.
Though no precise estimates about the number of Indian mommy blogs exist, Amit Aggarwal of labnol. blogspot.com, which has an online directory of the best Indian blogs in different categories, maintains that there are easily a few hundred such blogspots.
That’s not surprising, for mommy blogs are being read for sheer entertainment value by people other than moms as well. Neha, a Singapore-based researcher, is not a mom, but loves reading winkiesways. blogspot.com for its style of writing and karmickids. blogspot.com for the humorous posts. For most mothers, the blogs are a creative outlet. Since quite a few stay at home, and many have left their jobs to bring up their children, the blogs are an enjoyable way to stay occupied. Take Moppet’s mom Nikita. An MBA, Nikita used to work at a multinational company in India. She is currently a full-time mom and blogs on an average for an hour every day. “I’m not working at the moment, so I really do have plenty of time. Also, I enjoy writing,” she says.
For many of them the blog is an easy way to share their babies’ growing up days with close family and friends who might be living far away. Many moms also secretly cherish the desire that their children will grow up and read their blogs one day.
With little children around and several daily chores to finish, the moms have to take out time to blog when their children are either napping or are at playschool. The mothers don’t mind, and some point out that blogging is also addictive. And, after all, they are storing memories.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A Stick In Time

I was told to keep a stick handy, to be used by hubby & me only to discipline the kids.
While I really do not appreciate the use of stick, the faulty logic surprised me. The entire day we are not at home so the kids get disciplined only when we are present. Rest of the time, can they cross the boundries?
Physical punishment will leave its mark on the impressionable minds. I don't want their memories be marred with episodes of punishment involving the stick and their parents.
To me discipline is a round-the clock thing. I can't be discilpined in the morning and indisciplined by nightfall. It is something that is inbuilt and instilled as a part of the system. Needs patience and anyone in contact with the child should ensure that the interaction is within the limits of acceptable disciplined behavior.
When I think of those times when I lose control and scream on the kids or give them a smack, I feel it is done more out of frustration than anger at the kids. Frustration at being unable to control and reason out with them. It is my failure than the kids' failure that causes me to attack by words or hand.
The stick does not matter as much as the association and the accompanied expectation of instilling fear in the child. Why should a child be taught to be scared of his parents. If he cannot open up to his own parents, he will find a confidante outside the home and the advice may not be really inline with the family's sentiments and rules. I have nothing against external confidantes but i would like it if my kids are close to atleast my husband or me when they want to discuss their problems. I would like my kids to be fearless and be able to expect a fair hearing on every interaction from us rather than use external props to force us to go by their line of thought.

Weekend Fodder
1. So what do the parents say? Spare the rod? Or otherwise? Why?
2. Can one just keep a cane and use it on rare occassions even if it is not a regular feature? Old school of thought was to use it- both at home and school but today authorities view it very strongly. By just keeping a disciplinary tool handy are we insulting the kids and affecting them wrongly?
3. If there is any expert out there reading my post- Does beating/ caning cause psychological damage, insecurity, low confidence levels/ self esteem in the adult?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Photo Feature

Way to Subway, Spencer's hope they buy the potato chips too...
Ooh the Luxury of Sleep, that to no parent to disturb- having the whole bed to myself

Duggi, No, Chappa is what Ojas says when he does this and promptly stores his chappa away in the proper place. This is one way I get him to do this job.
Tata, Bye
Camera Shy
Chocoholic This Visitor Stopped Coming
When He Took Residence

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Mummy!

I am Flattered. Whenever the ad of RmKv is flashed, Ojas & Tejas point at the lovely lady in blue and say- Mummy

Anticlimax- Hubby says, I didn't do anything!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Engagement Tag

Dotmom tagged me with the engagement tag- I had been dreading it and since it is rude to refuse, here goes the official version...
We had been in MBA together. The genesis of the friendship started with a few forced ganging ups like-
  • The Leo birthday Treat for the class
  • Fashion Show participation in JIPMER fest where MBA's are separate invitees and participate separately from the University
  • Dbase classes where Hubby was the mentor for our group and we had to do a team project.

We girls used to do everything in a group atleast for the 1st year- you know how it is when you are few in number in a class. Luckily, all 8 girls liked to talk to him and therefore we soon formed a gang comprising most of the girls and some of the guys of the class.

Through the 2nd year, there came a series of functions and industry interfaces where we worked together, being a part of the management cell. While we liked to talk to each other we were not officially going around. In our senior batch(es), most of the students were together with somebody or the other may be out of sheer peer pressure! For exactly the same reason we were not together. Every interaction was in a group because of this strange inter class bonding that existed in our batch.

Neither of us took the first step perhaps because we felt it was too early to commit and wanted to check whether it would be a case of "out of sight, out of mind/ heart".

Once out of college, secure in our jobs, we realized we still wanted to see each other, and it was possible due to proximity.

Officially, he maintains that I proposed and I maintain that he proposed. And there is no way anyone can verify. While I have the advantage of having a blog where I can speak out the truth, I choose not to make use of it and let the same version remain on the post.

We took our time to get actually married, due to a myriad of reasons. But once the families were confortable with the idea and we comfortable with the position our career was we actually got engaged 2 days before the wedding.

I still bemoan the fact that I did not have a long enough courtship period. Quite an understatement since we married 4 years after being out of college.

But the courtship period after publicly wearing the ring has a different flavour to it.

No more looking behind your shoulders, no more making excuses for absence, no more being caught by colleagues/ friends at movies/ restaurants/ beaches.

Infact my CEO's son used to regularly report to my CEO on my weekend beach visits. Most Mondays my CEO used to greet me with words- Saturday, beach, boyfriend, my son saw.

No more people asking annoyingly when the marriage is.

No more advices on get married soon

No more suggestions of eligible bachelors in our community

Infact the habit of scanning the surroundings so that we could avoid some troublesome known faces became so ingrained that I found myself doing that even after marriage for a while.

I tag ArtNavy, Twisted DNA, STS, Hiphopgrandmaom

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another of my Faux Paus

My colleauge (Sardarji) asked me to come to the restaurant. I walked in confidently waving at him siting on one of the tables. I come closer and realize that he is not the one I am waiting for. I just said sorry and sat at the next table. Thankfully the correct sardarji walked in and I assume the wrong guy realized why I made the mistake.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Photo Feature


Duggi is facing torture at the hands of Ojas & Tejas. They literally maul him with their love and he has to use all his ingenuity to find a new hiding place each day. Yesterday he hid himself in the bathroom under a stool and I mistook him as a pair of black shorts and overlooked his presence.
The kids were off to the hospital for a while and Duggi had a good time prancing around the entire house, sitting on the bed, licking my brother' s face etc.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Featured at Last


I do not know what it means but it means a lot to me. Got featured as updated on 7th October on Best Indian Bloggers List


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Gifts Galore

The birthday is fast approaching and my one big worry is how to handle the gift issue that comes with every guest you invite. I dread the quantity of gifts that will come in and I have no space to keep them.
I cannot control the number of guests because irrespective of the guest list, all kids of the complex will walk in for any party. More than that, all kids are friendly with Ojas & Tejas and I do not have the heart or will to restrict the guests to thir age group.

Weekend Fodder (4 days holiday can be considered as an extended weekend!)
  • Is it rude to say "no gifts" on the invitation?
  • Is it ok to foster the idea of gifts being part of any celebration and therefore condition the kids to expect gifts during birthdays
  • As my friend AD rightly says- what is a birthday without gifts- is it not ok to teach them that gifts are one way of showing care and it is ok to expect and give gifts and nothing greedy about waiting eagerly to get them during birthdays.
  • Infact the "iski kya zaroorat thee" (there was no need to bring gift) mentality is a no-no - one must gracefully accept and express delight because there is a joy in giving too and a thought behind that really matters.
  • In light of global warming, is it ok to pass on gifts that you don't need - repack and gift it to someone else? Let it not waste away in storage. Lot of people do mention that it is something I got and cannot make use of it so I am passing it on to you. But they top it up with another gift they have bought so as to not look mean not having bought something for a gift.
  • Or charity would be the better option? come to think of it, is it not a kind of forced charity- because you can neither gift, nor use nor store so the last option is giving away?
  • What is the yardstick to measure the amount spent on a gift? Lot of people note down what gifts they received- record keeping is one reason but another reason often cited is so that you return in kind. Should I gift to match up with what someone gave us or should it depend upon my capacity? Is there a market rate for each occasion?