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May 08, 2016

Mother's Day.

A couple of weeks back, Antu and I were walking back home from somewhere and Antu said,

Amma, I want to tell you something very sad.
What Antu?
The new twins who have joined my school? A boy and a girl? you remember?
Yes Antu.
So we were all making mothers day card and the twins don't have a mother. She died. So they made a mothers day card for their father.
Oh my God, Antu. Thats is so sad!
I am so happy I have a mother, Amma. I love you. *hugs me with tears in her eyes*
I love you too, Antu.

Today when Antu gave a card and a book mark she made for me for Mothers day, I thought of the twins and what mothers day means to them and to so many other kids who don't have a mother. Broke my heart a bit. 

I read a quote that said "The death of a mother is the first sorrow wept without her". That broke my heart a lot more. Heres to all those kids who don't have a mother this mothers day. I wish I could hug them all.

April 29, 2016

Proxy.

Me (From the kitchen) - Antu! Eat your breakfast.
Antu : Ok.

(2 mins later)
Me - Are you eating?
Antu -  Yes, Amma.

Since the voice was coming from another direction, I go to the dining area to check. And I find this!


Me - Antu, come here! Whats this?
Antu - Thats me. She will be eating my breakfast from today.
Me - !!!!!!

April 27, 2016

27.04.2016



Dearest Ashu,

My very special 11 year old girl! What do I say? You are almost as tall as me and wear my shoes. You are so independent that I wonder why you need me at all. You are so cheeky and so full of attitude that this is the first time I ask myself, she is only 11? I can tell you lots of things now and sometimes even ask you for relationship advice! This one time, I was ranting about someone and wondering how to deal with them and you interrupted me and told me, "Amma, you are not their parent. Its not your job to teach them a lesson or give them consequences". I was shocked. And only yesterday when I was upset with your dad for coming home so late from office, you said "I know you are mad at him now, Amma. But don't be mad at him tomorrow, ok?" Sigh. How did you get so mature, Ashu? Certainly not from me! 

Of course that does nt mean there are no meltdowns, fights or arguments! Life would be so boring then, would nt it? The bone of contention has been the iPhone, of course! For a year, every other month you would begin a conversation with "All my friends have one..." and I would counter that with the age old, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge..." and the end result would be you shutting yourself inside your room and me trying to find my iPhone to google - why iPhones are evil! I get it, Ashu. I get it. Dealing with peer pressure is not easy for kids. For one, you are the only Indian kid (other than your sister!) in the school. You don't speak like them, you don't look like them and you don't eat like them. And when your mother would nt even let you have a bloody phone like them, it does hurt. Especially when your father can be swayed either way, Mom comes across as pure evil. I have sat with you and explained. I have yelled and screamed. I have asked you to read about the dangers of it. I have given you the classic, "Because I can". Sorry Kid. I hope you understand one day.

You and your sister! Where do I begin? Im wondering which will come first - you ending up killing each other or you together killing me! Argh! The fighting! The curse of the sisters is up on me and I cannot wait for this phase to end. If its a phase, that is. "She took my book. She ate my cookie. I was sitting here first. She is looking at me. She is breathing." Why do you do it, Ashu? Little Sisters are annoying, I get that. But why are Big Sisters so bossy? Please be kind to your sister. She adores you and would do anything for you. You only have to ask. Nicely. That said, you both get along fabulously well when I am not in the picture. So I guess the problem is me! As always. You have a select few friends you are close to and of course your grand parents and uncle and aunt are the most special people in the world. Thatha and Paati were here for 3 months last year and you just blossomed when they were here. You were the happiest when a friend left her little dog with us for three days and we took care of him. I guess you are waiting for the phone in hand first before going on a food strike to get a dog!

You have become even more quieter than usual these days. All you need is a book. You started writing a list this year and proudly announced that you have finished 100 books even before January ended. Even though I swore I would never be that kind of a mother, I have been telling you to cut down on reading and to get out and talk to people. Please find a balance, Kiddo. You are interested in many, many things and I wish we had the time and the energy to do all the things that you want to do. You went for a few sewing lessons and you love it. You took to snowboarding this year like a pro. You spend hours on rainbow loom to create amazing things. You came up with such a clever treasure hunt for my birthday this year that I was blown away. You don't do hugs and kisses that well but you touch our souls by being thoughtful and kind. Happy 11th Birthday, Kannamma. Always be true to yourself. 

Love,
அம்மா.

February 29, 2016

Solden.

Kids get two weeks off every February and people usually go skiing for a week and lots of them go to Austria. Hd and I have been planning to go the last 4 years but it was nt happening thanks to my injury, then his and then it did nt make sense to go if we both were nt going to ski. Ashu took to snowboarding this year and she was very keen on a trip. Finally we bit the bullet and Hd and I decided to put our fears aside and begin skiing again this year. (Not before my passionate and intense speech to Hd on how I'm just 37 years old and I can't get retired hurt at such an young age!) Poor man was so worried about me more than himself thanks to my history of accidents! Anyway, we were in Solden, Austria from 14th to 20th February and we had a fantastic time. The kids were in group lessons and Hd and I took private lessons to refresh our memory but thankfully the body remembered what to do and it was nt so bad. I still ski painfully slow thanks to my fear and I can also see that my right knee is not as strong as my left now. Well, a knee replacement is certainly there in my future, I guess!

Antu loved her group and her teacher and did nt want to come back. Icing on the cake was that she came third in the ski race at the end of the week and got a certificate and a medal. She was thrilled to bits! But Little Miss Princess was very disapproving that they gave just french fries for lunch some days! "Just because I am a vegetarian, Amma! Really? Fries for lunch? Can you believe it?" And it seems, her teacher was a Vegan and ate only salad much to her horror. I can see her switching to fish and chicken in her future! 

Ashu is the Rockstar in the family. After skiing for 7 years(!), she wanted to learn snowboarding this year and in spite of us discouraging her, she was very determined to do it. Its amazing how fearless kids are and how fast they learn skills. Sigh, here I am in my ripe old age struggling in the beginner slopes. She wears her shoes on her own, carries her snowboard and walks like a gangster! On the ski slopes, with the ski suit, ski mask, helmet, etc... I sometimes mistake her for some young woman and my eyes search for the little girl in her pink snow suit! :( Since there were no kids her age in the intermideate snowboard group, she was put in an adults group. She had loads of fun the last day when her group went right upto the summit (3250m) and snowboarded where Spectre was filmed! Wish I had given my phone to her to take some photos. She said it was spectacular. And was very disappointed that we said no when she asked if she could go alone again! Sigh. Im sure in the near future,  she would just snowboard right through our roof!

Anyway, I am just glad we all got back in one piece. It was an interesting week doing nothing but eating and skiing and sitting in the sauna in the late evenings. Bliss.


February 04, 2016

2016.

Life is a blur. I don't know when 2015 ended and 2016 began. Kids growing up like weeds, husband traveling like crazy and I am doing what I do best - binge watching Netflix series! :) Parents went back to India in January after 3 months here. Kids and I were miserable after they left. Hd more so because his beloved Mil left. That woman is a house elf and minion combo, I tell you! Food on the table, clothes folded and neatly arranged, kids playmate, movie partner for us, shutter crazy, whatsapp crazy,... Basically crazy! I wish I have half of her enthusiasm for life when I am her age. 

Winter is non existent here. Snowed only like two days in the last 2 months. Never thought I would start complaining like the locals about the lack of snow! Antu more than me. Ice skating and skiing going on as usual and Ashu decided she has had enough of skiing and switched to snow boarding this year! Half a dozen lessons later, she's getting almost there. She's one determined girl when she wants to do something. I gotta give it to her. I have nt even mustered the courage to get back to skiing after the injury four years back and only this year I am even thinking about it. Crossing fingers.

I hope 2016 is going well for everyone and heres to more blogging! Or is it no longer fashionable? What are people into these days? I have realized twitter is not for me. I only stalk people there. Cant think of anything clever, witty or useful under 140 characters! I have never been on Facebook. (You can close your jaw now!) I have panic attacks when people add me on whatsapp groups and l Iook for the nearest exit! Hd says I have become old and anti social and a snob. Anyone out there like me? Do we have a name for it? Im sure theres definitely a whatsapp group! :))

December 07, 2015

Madras.

I have been walking around with a heavy heart for a week. All my prayers are with Chennai and its people. And cuddalore and all parts of Tamilnadu affected by the rain. Usually when disaster strikes some part of the world, one is secretly relieved to have not been there at that time. But this is the only time I wished I was there in Chennai so that I can help in any way I could. I felt and still feel so utterly useless sitting here and living this comfortable life when people are homeless and starving and slowly trying to put their lives back together. Get well soon, Madras. Wishing you a speedy recovery.

November 17, 2015

Update.

Nothing like a little bit of fandom to make one start blogging again! :) A very sweet person recognized Antu and asked me if I was Boo at a local fest last month and thanks to her, I realized I have been missing to report here for a very long time and there was loads to tell. Thanks, S. Lets meet soon.

So heres the update:

Summer:

Was spent in India. Four hectic weeks of fun, fun and more fun. In fact we had so much fun that Antu managed to swallow a 50 paisa coin five minutes before we were about to leave Kumbakonam. God, that girl would do anything to have her way! We ran to the doctor and to the X ray place and after lots of juice and bananas, it finally came out of her system 2 days later. Until then, I had to answer everyone and their Athimber's "vandhuduthaa, vandhuduthaa" question a million times! Even Kamal did nt have so much trouble releasing Viswaroopam, I tell you!

School:

First grade and fifth grade! Why do kids grow up so fast? Antu is having a gala time in big school and as luck would have it, the girl who lives downstairs is also in her class. So they both are two peas in a pod now. Ashu is at the stage where friends mean everything. And she has been nagging me for an iPhone! "All my friends have one, Amma!" sigh. 

Festivities:

Things have been crazy in Boodom thanks to back to back festivals. As usual, we made Ganeshas for Pillyar Chathurthi and had loads of fun. My parents arrived in October and I decided this is the year I am going to keep my debut Golu and went all out on it. Luckily, the kids were on a Fall Break and they had a great Navarathri. I pretty much had an open house on all the 9 days and it felt like being back in India with people dropping in and out all day long. And of course, before we could dismantle the Golu padi, Deepavali arrived and we have been on an eating marathon for the past two weeks with back to back parties. Mom and dad are so happy to have visited during this time and are having a great time meeting people. The weather has also been great so far. I took my parents shopping and bought them clothes for Deepavali. Circle of life, as Mustafa says!



Belated Deepavali wishes folks! 

July 10, 2015

Bye Bye, Kiga. 2 & Klasse. 4

Antu says bye bye to Kindergarten finally and will get to First Grade at the grand old age of seven. She has attended play groups and pre schools and kindergarten for the past 5 years that it feels like forever! Not that I did nt enjoy it. She has been so sad to leave KG and her fantastic teacher that I would gladly make her repeat another year in KG just to hold onto this stage of her life. She had a sleepover in KG last night and I walked her to school at 7 pm with a sleeping bag and a pillow with a lump in my throat. She has had the most exciting two years in KG and not for one day did she ever say that she does nt want to go to school. Even on weekends, she used to whine that she's missing school! She has a huge group of friends in the neighborhood and had a great birthday party at home last month. She is super excited to walk to school with Ashu from August and it is giving me sleepless nights that she has to leave 25 minutes earlier than she does now. *gulp*

Ashu completes 4th grade today and I am having a panic attack and had tears in my eyes when she walked off to school this morning.  She has truly enjoyed this year even though she did sulk a bit in the mornings. She had a super duper birthday party with school friends at a water park. The last few months, lots of the incoming phone calls are for Ashu and she's always planning something with her friends. The big milestone was when she went to a movie with just her friends and one of the moms dropped and picked them up. She felt so grown up! One of her friends comes home every morning and walks with her to school. The whole class is going to Lucerne today to celebrate the last day of school and she will be back late evening. And just like that, another school year has gone by.

June 27, 2015

27.06.2015

 Dear Antu,

Where do I begin? Words fail me. When I think about you, I usually roll my eyes or sigh heavily or smile to myself or laugh out loud and feel the heaviness in my heart from the overflowing love. You can get away with anything in this household and you know it. Sometimes I want to take Ashu aside and tell her "Watch and learn. This is how you get what you want." But square peg, round hole and all that, I guess! Thank you Antu for being you and teaching me one or two things about getting your way but still making the people around you happy. Its a talent I sorely lack. 

You adore your sister and can't live without her. Even though Ashu is at a stage where she wants nothing to do with you, you follow her around like a puppy. And its hard to ignore such devotion. You have a wonderful group of friends and you like everyone. Even for this years birthday party, you wanted to invite a big group because everyone is your best friend! You are a very confident child and usually do not care much about what other people think about you. You are extremely helpful and eager to please. The other day, the old lady who lives downstairs came up to give some chocolates to you because you always hold the door for her and help her. I was truly amazed. You literally can't even hurt a fly. We have to chase the bugs out of the window, not kill them. This one time, your father made the grave mistake of killing a spider and you cried buckets. And now you have a pet snail living in our balcony and I don't if it is payback for your dad but I can't even eat a damn salad these days without thinking about the poor snail! Please let him go.

You are crazy about books, music and puzzles. The centre table in our living room has been completely taken over by you for your puzzles and we have learnt to balance our tea cups around them! This one time, I even used a few pieces as a coaster but you were very disapproving! Every thing has to be just-so for you. You have a great dress sense and very coordinated. You are particular about hair styles and even socks. You change outfits so many times a day much to my annoyance. You are currently so obsessed with everything "Frozen" that its driving me crazy. You are having a Frozen themed party tomorrow and when I mentioned that its summer and we should have a summer party, you would nt listen. Of course as luck would have it, your aunt decides to surprise you by visiting and showed up today with a suitcase full of everything Elsa, Anna and Olaf and you are in a Frozen heaven now. Let it go has become my mantra these days. I wish I had my own castle to run away too!

You are so generous with your hugs and kisses and I love yous. I hope you never ever change and I even made you pinky swear that you will give me a hug whenever I want. You loved our recent trip to Majorca and I think I should prepare myself for the inevitable beach bum you are going to to turn out to be. But you want to be a cow girl and ride horses when you grow up! Guess  a career in giving horse rides for kids in Besant Nagar beach is your calling. Go for it, I say. As always, I become very emotional around your birthday but this time you strictly told me that you can't be a baby forever and you need to grow up and I should stop whining about it. Sigh. Happy 7th Birthday, Kannamma! Keep smiling. 

Love, 


அம்மா.

June 12, 2015

Majorca.

It was our 15th wedding anniversary last week. Fifteen! Feels like yesterday when I insisted I wanted pineapple rasam in my wedding menu. As usual, Hd and I started planning our anniversary trip months in advance. After exploring several options, including the Moon and the Mars, we got practical and decided on 4 days in Majorca. Except for Barcelona, we have nt been to Spain at all and it seemed like a good idea. And it was indeed a fantastic trip. The kids had a blast too. Ashu and I went Parasailing and it was amazing. We were total beach bums for a couple of days. Drove to Cap de Formentor one day and enjoyed the breathtaking views. 

Hd also gave me a huge surprise by giving me a little blue box! I almost fainted at the sight of the box tied up with the satin ribbon. Forget whats inside, just the box thrilled me to bits. Sigh! This is how labels and marketing affect the vulnerable, I guess. And I am not even a jewelry person. But then its Tiffanys, so there! :) 


Thank you, Hd. Love you loads. Heres to many more. And I don't mean just the anniversaries! ;)