Showing posts from 2017

Figuring out Santa Claus

Sometimes we ended up discussing philosophy while putting my daughters to sleep. On Christmas Eve, I recollected one of those old conversations. My three-year-old was very worried on the night when Santa was supposed to come and visit.
“Does Santa Claus know we have shifted to Bangalore?” “How does he know where each child lives? “Will he be able to give gifts to all the children on one night?”
I didn’t have plausible reasons so I gently changed the topic and we discussed the next day’s plans till she fell asleep.
My six-year-old was still awake and she crept closer for the secret chat.
She giggled and whispered: “I know you buy the gifts for us. The Santa Claus in the mall is just a normal people who wears the red dress and sticks on a false beard.” "Santa Claus is not real" She was sure.
I was glad that she had it all figured out but I also felt so sad at that moment; as if a little bit of enchantment  had just left our life.
“So now that you know that there is no Santa Claus, I do…

Making Sense of an Ending

A seventeen year-old in my neighborhood jumped to his death. His parents are devastated. I, like most of the people who have known them for years, shocked to the core. I had thought I’d tell me daughters about the incident only when they came home for the holidays, when we could have a longer conversation. But bad news travel fast and it was my daughter who asked me for ‘details’.
Then I had to write to them. I write to them often but this time I did not know what to write. Why am I putting parts of it in the public domain? As a prayer from a mother who hopes that no parent has to live through this.
What happened? He jumped from the 7th Floor.
Why? Only he knew what was going on in his mind at that moment. Anything else we say would be an un-called for assumption.
What other details can I give you? His parents will be in pain for a very long time. It is like he stabbed them and went off, leaving the knives in.
We are all shocked. We, who knew him as a much loved child a friend of our childre…

Wayanad-Driving through hills, forests and a river valley-Day 1

The Holiday Resolutions: There are too many things to do right here. I get more tired planning for and recovering from vacations. Let’s not go anywhere this time.  Ok, we'll take one small break. But this time we’ll not drive-let's take a flight, or a train, or a cab, or hire a driver…
The Reality: Driving for three and a half days through steep hills, sharp bends, lush forests and the Kabini river valley.

The Decisions: Since this was an unplanned, unintended trip we quickly decided on Wayanad because it was the only non-visited destination within driving distance. We booked our hotel after a quick Face book research, packed a few sets of clothes, filled petrol, and decided to leave early on Saturday morning.
My husband decided to work from home on Friday to ensure we pack in early on Friday evening. He was determined we would leave as early as possible on Saturday to avoid the traffic jams that happen on exit roads to Bangalore at the onset of all long weekends. I dread waking up ea…

My Story and Hers: Which way do we go?

This is a continuation of events from my previous post when my friend and I had decided we needed to change the ‘new’ school.
My mother said bye to me as usual as I left for school. Then she stood still with shock and screamed: You are wearing the wrong uniform. You have the grey-and-white uniform now.
(She had also given away my old blue uniform, I had to borrow one from a friend and it was two sizes bigger than my size).
I told her I am not going to the ‘grey-and-white uniform’ school anymore but my old blue uniform one.
Yes, I knew I could not just walk into a school like that. My friend had spoken to the office staff and got my Transfer Certificate request cancelled. I had visited the old school, met the Principal, the admin staff and my friends. My school had changed.
My parents had a conference between each other that day and they let me continue my way; probably because of the shock factor of the drastic step.
This was perhaps the first independent decision of my life. Was it the righ…

Restarting this blog (Again!)

This is another 'About-me' post to mark the new reboot attempt.
As you can see (read), I’m trying to pick up the threads and continue the stories in this blog after a long break.
I need your help in the form of feedback-on the content, layout, structure, format, well on everything. I am especially weak on the technology, platform side of blogging. Thanks to those of you who responded immediately to my call for suggestions-taking out the time to go through my ramblings in spite of your schedules and coming back with your much valued inputs. Please bear with me as I try to categorize and arrange my posts in a coherent order.  Or should I just junk the effort and move to a new WordPress platform? Please keep the feedback flowing.
Having awesome friends has been my biggest strength in life and you’ll find that evidence scattered through my blog posts. It has helped my getting over so much more than technology issues and writing blocks: the insanity in the crazy-busy days of being a h…

Travel Diary

(This is a very old post, got published again in my attempt at classifying the posts; the journal is still at the 'intentions' stage, let's see how it goes)

Elena’s first trip was a trip to her grandparents’ house for her “Annaprasana” ceremony at the age of five months. At nine months she traveled to Dehradun and Mussoorie. ..

Then came Aurora, and ever since we’ve been traveling across the country with these two in tow.

I’ve been planning to update my travel journal ever since.  Yes I had one ever since I was in school. I would take the time out to retreat to a quiet corner, or the topmost bunk and scribble down the experience as it happened. But then in those days, I have traveled without bookings, without a budget, and even without luggage (yes, at times without my toothbrush). And now, before the trips I am psyched about making lists, booking tickets and hotels, and packing almost everything they might possible need. During the trips it is about keeping them entertained, r…

My Story: The High School Trauma

(This post is a continuation of my story from the earlier post
This happened a generation ago. I have tried very hard not to repeat my parents’ mistakes. But I am sure; I have made plenty of different ones. I just hope that my daughters deal with them in a better way than I did. )

Mummy meant well. Being a teacher, she  was well-informed about the benefits of CBSE over the archaic state board syllabus and so she changed my school in 11th standard. Yes she also wanted me to be away from the strong peer pressure, my existing group of friends, and begin again as a focused student.
I did not want to be a focused student. Getting better marks on subjects I anyway didn’t want to study didn’t make much sense. As a teenager who drew on the company of her friends for oxygen, it felt like the end of life to be forced to cope without them.
(My imagination and my emotions were always dramatic (rather melodramatic) as per conventional norms. But that’s how I think and feel. Yeah, even now J.)
I did try…

A Birthday Party with Fairies

Birthdays were one huge annual task for me. They were two huge annual tasks to be precise, and that too within a span of five days in February.
They were like this and this and this.
The budget sheets and estimate sheets I used for annual planning at work were child’s play compared to the bday.xls file I had created over the years. It had master-lists for guests, party-item suppliers,  invitation formats, party themes, ideas for return gifts, menu planning, ideas for games, entertainments, pick-and-drop logistics, cleaning-up, start-be-end-by dates for tasks  etc. etc.
And when they went off to boarding school this became another way to miss them; another vacuum to fill.
The first time one of them was not here for her birthday, I felt like calling her friends over and celebrating just the same way. But it would have not made sense. Not doing anything also did not feel correct.  It was such a special day for us, I still wanted to celebrate. Celebrating just by ourselves also didn’t s…

My Story: How the High School subjects chose me/us

I am starting to write my own story here. First, because my primary source of inspiration-my conversations (aka tirades, rants, clashes, slugfests) are so few and far between with the girls moving to boarding school. Second (or maybe this is the primary reason) because as formal studies are taking over their life in a stronger grip (my last post);, I feel as if I am re-living that trauma again. I wrote this part of the story first on a post for mycity4kids. Reposting here.. At fifteen, Elena had to decide on her ‘subject-combination’. It took me back to the time when I had to make my choice. I had been  for waiting for months for the time where we get to choose which subjects to study.
I loved History and Literature and Geography. The combination wasn’t ‘available’ in our school so I had to pick the nearest available package. I think it was History, English and Home Science.
My parents were aghast. Their well-wishers (extended family, neighbors, friends, friends of friends, families and all)…

As they enter a new world

Kids grow up fast. I too had heard the cliché so many times. But sentences become clichés only because we use them so many times; live them so many times.
My daughters are in 8th and 11th grade now. Their world is so different from the one I used to blog about. It is beautiful in many ways, scary in many others.
Earlier I used to worry about day-care, maids, PTMs, sports days, birthday parties etc. etc. Now I worry about the world outside, social media, their career decisions and higher education. In fact education is the biggest worry on my mind right now.
We were extremely lucky to find a school which imparts the kind of education we believed in. The girls grew up exploring, experiencing, and enjoying (well, most of the time) their education. But now the long tentacles of the formal education system, the ‘board exams’, the subject-package choices, and the college entrance systems are closing in. I find it particularly scary because I remember what the system almost did to me.  It’…