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Showing posts from December, 2006


Christmas was so so. We were at V's place and mil made palappam chicken curry in the morning, which was good. V's brother and family left for their workplace after breakfast, so lunch was a tame affair. WE had to board the train to Madras same evening. I got to see my aunt from Nigeria, who had reached the previous day, on my way to the Manarcad church with V and Mira that afternoon. She also joined on the pilgrimage.
Fil held a belated 70th birthday party on 23rd and the food was great. There were some 70 guests including the achen. The syrian xian lunch - appam-mutton stew, rice, beef fry, chicken masala, fish curry, cabbage thoren, pineapple pachadi, pickle, fruit salad with ice cream etc. - was fantastic.
I had reached Kerala on 18th morning. Maid kissed me and kids goodbye. Tulika landed on 20th night and V on 21st morn. We didnt go for the houseboat trip on the backwaters as it was peak tourist season and the rates were high. Maybe in summer...
Instead we went to Wagamon on…


I am off to Kerala tomorrow night. Yet to pack the bags, the kids' stuff fill make up three-fourth of the luggage - milk powder, hot water, feeding bottles and so on. Iwill be lucky if I get to throw in a few of my clothes in.
Need to do a little Xmas shopping. Got myself a rectangular glass cake dish that is microwave safe from Landmark.
Heading to Chandanapally on 18th. Fil's 70th bday celebrations will be held on 23rd, so will head there after V lands on 21st. Maybe a houseboat trip on the backwaters in Aleppey, involving both families.
I will be back on 26th if nothing goes wrong. A new maid is likely to join us. The present one will bid us goodbye at Chengannur station on 18th.
Meanwhile, here's wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Sibling power

Mira's EEG report says things are normal. The neurologist wondered why the peads had raised a hue and cry. Maybe because the maid exaggerated about the seizure to the Dr. Yesterday me and my bro took Mira for the EEG. Had a tough time giving her the sedative. She fell asleep soon after and then the technician did the test. A technician arranges the electrodes, usually a dozen, at specific sites on the child's head, fixing the electrodes in place with sticky paste. The patient must remain still and lie down while the EEG is taken. Motion can interfere with the EEG - sometimes this might be difficult for an awake child, but it's necessary to record an accurate EEG. However, the patient can't be sedated to achieve stillness because the sedative can cause an inaccurate reading. Natural sleep EEGs, however, can be very helpful. My brother and V's brother were here on 13th. Mine came on 13th evening and left yesterday for Kerala while V's came on 12th night and left o…

Four-legged beauties

On Sunday evening, we took the kids for the annual dog show conducted by the Kennel Club of India. It had been on from Dec 8-10, but we could make it only on the last day and the most crowded day of all. Thought the kids would enjoy looking at the bow-wows but they were awed by the sight of so many canines that they clung to us for dear life.
The afternoon sun though tamer than its usual self was enough to drain our energies, not to speak of the dogs hailing from the cooler climes of the West.
We had reached at a time when many of the canines were taking their post-noon siesta. While the dogs lazily viewed onlookers, their proud owners arrayed the trophies and cups won at the competition on the rug the pets lay. A crowd circled a massive but friendly French Mastiff that had won a few trophies. Two Neopolitan mastiffs with their crystal red eyes fanged a smile at the curious humans, while a Siberian Husky vied for space with a Golden Retriever atop a cage. The Husky seems to have sensed …


"If it weren't for the fact that the TV set and the refrigerator are so far apart, some of us wouldn't get any exercise at all." Joey Adams
We went to the park today for morning walk at 9 am (!!). V jogged while me and Ash took a stroll. Ash enjoyed looking at the pond water and the butterflies taking their morning feed. Half a dozen dog litter and a baby sleeping in a makeshift cradle on a tree (belonging to one of the woman sweepers of the park) also excited him.
We have been getting so little exercise thanks to our disorganised lifestyle and hectic work schedules. So trying to make up on weekends at least.

Remembering Bhutto

Death by hanging is something that I find terribly inhuman, however heinous the crime committed by the sentenced. Reading through Khushwant Singh's account (Death at my doorstep) of Z.A. Bhutto's tryst with the hangman's noose, I couldnt help feel another bout of grief (the first was while reading about it in Tehmina Durrani's My Feudal Lord) for the flamboyant Prime Minister.
Bhutto was hanged in April 1979. I was pretty young to understand its significance then, but I did sympathise like my family for the dead man. Bhutto's death and the fall of Skylab were two major newspaper headlines from those times that I still remember. People worried that the Skylab would fall over their heads/ houses - it finally fell into the sea. The next major event was the solar eclipse in the early 80s, when we looked at a reflection of the sun in cowdung water - looking at the sun with the naked eye during an eclipse is beleived to blind you for life.
Coming back, I guess Saddam Husse…

The future bookworm

Went to Landmark in Spencer Plaza yesterday evening to look for some children's books. A colleague had advised me that I should introduce Ash to books - not just board books as I was doing but real books. He allayed my fears that kids will tear books. So I got Ash The Little Encyclopedia and Tales from the Panchathantra. The books have captured his interest, now I need to cultivate a habit of bedtime reading. My attempt yesterday was unsuccesful - he preferred to see them on his own and refused to let me take a peek. Phew!
When and How to Read to Your Toddler
Experts recommend you read to your child as often as you can and that you strive to have at least one scheduled reading time each day. Choosing regular times to read (especially before naps and bedtime) is a way to help your child learn to sit with a book and relax. But you can read anytime your child seems in the mood.
If your toddler will let you, hold him or her in your lap when you read.
Ash jealously guards the books from M…

Yuletide musings

My brother called from Delhi yesterday. He and Tulika flew down from London on Sunday night. They will have to work in their Delhi offices before they head for Kerala for Xmas vacation. Christmas this year promises to be exciting. My aunt from Nigeria is also coming down, so Christmas at Chandanapally may not be the tame affair it usually is.
The only excitement we usually have is the church carol service complete with a Santa Claus. A few other unauthorised carol services also make their appearanes hoping to make some fast buck. Last year Bruno chased away half a dozen boys who came with a few tins to drum on; the Santa Claus wore a red nightie, probably his mother's. It was hilarious.
Though the Christmas tree is a comparatively new addition to Christmas celebrations in Kerala, it is the twinkling paper Christmas star put up at Christian(even non-Christian) homes or shops which sets the tone for a season of cheerfulness and joy. I like the quaint old crudely handcrafted Xmas stars…

Class Innovation

Got to travel in a Toyota Innova yesterday. Quite a palatial vehicle though the back seat is not all that comfortable. The first two rows are good. And with a car DVD player for entertainment, it takes away the monotony and exhaustion of long journeys. With a loo and a makeshift kitchen one could even think of living in it. Innova and Qualis have gained an upperhand over the ubiquitous Tata Sumo in Kerala. Not only are they better looking and comfy, they offer better mileage and value for money. My inlaws and a couple of their friends had down to Chennai to visit a cancer-patient friend at Apollo hospitals, whose condition seems to be deteriorating. They came by road - on an Innova - as the trains were full. They had a pretty long journey - starting at 10 am on saturday and reaching here at 4 am the next day - since the driver had not had much sleep the previous days and did not risk driving fast in case he dozed off and lost control.
After a welcome tea and sleep, maid (oh, she is stil…


Everyone around seems to be coughing. It must be the weather. My cough has been so bad that I puked coughing yesterday - the doctor here explained that the food pipe opens when u cough and that too much coughing doesnt give time to the food pipe to close etc. But I thought only children threw up when they coughed.
I wrote half a post yesterday when the machine conked on me and I didnt have the patience to write again.
Maid is quiet after a showdown we had 2 days back, her so-called cousin bro called to say he was coming on 30th to take her away and V said that was not done as we are both working and cant find a new person at such short notice. V has requested her to stay till 17th when I leave for Kerala especially as I cant travel alone in the train with 2 babies. Or until we find a good replacement. Whether her reason for leaving is genuine or not, we dont want to keep a half-willing person here.
Anyway she is showing more affection towards Ash. Feeding him continues to be a near imp…