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Showing posts from February, 2007

Dahl's Solo

I just about managed to finish the book, an autobiography from Roald Dahl's wartime days. I didnt exactly enjoy the part about his war exploits but as an ardent fan, I prodded on. I more enjoyed the first part about his days in East Africa especially Dar es Salaam. It was good to read another person's account of a place you have lived in - though Dar in 1938 was different from the one we saw in 1982-84. The tryst with snakes and lions made interesting reading. I dont remember seeing any snakes when I was there but Tanzania had that abundance of flora and fauna that the dark continent is famous for. My favorites were the green lizard and the grey lizard with the yellow head, the common lizards in Dar unlike the pale brown and the brown ones in India. My cousin sister, who had lived most of her life in Africa, kept a collection of butterflies for her school project and they were so beautiful and varied. She also gave me interesting insights into the life and activities of ants l…

The cake

A bday spoiler

Ashwin's birthday turned out to be a non-event!The guestlist had been prepared, the cake and the biriyani ordered but the birthday boy fell sick - Ash developed vomiting on Saturday night and had to be admitted in hospital on Sunday morning. A case of food poisoning, the dr said. Probably from the peanuts he had the previous day.
Anyway, he was discharged from hospital yesterday evening in time to come home, cut the cake before my dad left for Kerala.

No moon

Maid Chandrika is leaving tonight after a 2-month stint as au pair cum cook. Her immediate predecessor at the job is making a grand return. She will come with my inlaws tomorrow. I am a bit apprehensive about her attitude to Ash. She is extremely fond of Mira though. She is a good cook and not wasteful either.
One thing I must say in favour of the Chand ka tukda is that she never eavesdropped or interfered in our conversations or when we had guests - something I cant say about the incoming maid. But you cant have the best of everything when it comes to maids - that too Kerala ones with their know-all attitude.

Maid woes again

Yesterday I reached home to find teh maid crying over the phone. She then came and told us that her son, who drives an auto, met with an accident and was in a serious condition. To top it her mother would die any day and wanted to see her.
The gist of the matter was that she wanted to leave IMMEDIATELY. Anyway, we have told her that we need to find a replacement before we let her go.
Today we managed to contact the previous maid and she has offered to come temporarily. We need to find a more permanent solution in 2 months' time.


A crow pecked at Ashwin just as he was standing on the balcony grill, surveying post-rain Chennai! The maid had gone in with Mira and V had gone to make a call. They came only upon hearing him howling himself hoarse.The crows are getting bolder, especially with the kids. Since I feed them leftovers they often keep an eye on our balcony. Feeding crows is the norm in Chennai especially after the morning pooja. Crows are beleived to be the souls of our dead ancestors and feeding them is considered a blessing. CHennai crows are a bit picky about the food too unlike the crows at, say, my countryside. They dont much care for plain rice and prefers curd rice!Anyway, I am having second thoughts about feeding them - if I have to keep them off the kids and balcony.

This Valentine's

Got V a chicken leg from ChicKing and Schezwan Fried Noodles and Cauliflower Manchurian from Noodle King.
Coupled with maid's wheat puttu and broken rice kanji (for the kids), it made our Valentine's dinner. (It also happened to be my mom's bday).
Ash has been extremely sick, with the body temperature shooting up like crazy at night. The virus should be down and out in a week's time, hopefully - unless it rises like a phoenix stronger and deadlier.
We plan to advertise in the Manorama for the next maid! Had enough of agency double-speak. I am trying to suffer this one for another month.
Ash will have his grandparents joining him in the birthday celebration on 25th. They arrive on the 24th. Yet to plan the party.

Children's world

That is the latest result from my school quest. A small neat setup opposite the Police Station. An acquaintance was sending his son to that school until the child fell off the auto he was travelling from - and that was the end of his schooling there.
And that was a major issue in my converstation with the lady who ran the place. The school van and its destinations. She said she could try asking the lady who ran the van service whether she could pick n' drop my son. I am yet to meet/call her.
As for the lady who ran the place, she was a spectacle to behold. At least the hairdo. The basic hair style seemed alright save for the tail end - which formed a pony tail on the side of her face and looked like a broom hung off a hook. Her face made up to hide her ageing skin, she reminded me of the North Indian teachers I had in the Indian Expatriates Study Group school in Dar-es-salaam - the kind of who brought their lipsticks to the calssroom and applied in between lessons ( we would watch i…

The new robe

For a change Ash didnt raise a tantrum when I bathed him today morning.
He was even willing to try on a new bathrobe for a photo session.

A Birthday

I cut a small pista cake in the morning, before Ash left for school. He ate a small piece though he is not fond of cakes. He had refused to taste his bday cake last year. Otherwise nothing really special. It is going to be a long day at work, so plans of ordering dinner from outside seems bleak. My mom, my ol' friend Bino, my former landlady and mil called to wish me. Save for the sheer pleasure of knowing that people still remember your big day, birthdays are no longer fun. It cant be when you are on the wrong side of 30.

Sibling rivalry

Babycentre explains what's behind sibling rivalry:
It can be especially hard for a 2-year-old — who thinks he's the center of the universe — to welcome a new baby into his home. While older siblings tend to act out their rivalries by arguing, name-calling, ... your 2-year-old can't quite get a grip on how he feels or what to do about that annoying newborn. Desperate to win back your attention, he may react by misbehaving or regressing (jumping on the sofa when you're trying to nurse, sitting in the baby's seat, or refusing to use the potty after he's been doing it for months). He may even try to punish his new sibling by yanking her arm or snatching her rattle.
Refereeing sibling rivalry isn't for the faint of heart. But by preparing him for the explosion that's about to rock his world, you can minimize the headaches and make life at home more harmonious.
That kind of explains Ash's behaviour the past 1 year. He unlearnt things he had learnt (such as t…


Grandparents: People who think your kids are wonderful even though they are sure that you are not raising them right.
That is exactly what I hear from my parents. They want us to spare the rod and spoil the brats but once upon a time they never spared the rod in our case, even when my granpa pleaded.
Mira seems better - the swelling has diminished and she is as active, if not more, than ever.
Today I went out in search of the best school in our area - Padma Seshadri, which was once rated as the best school in India by Outlook magazine. The campus looks disappointingly cramped. Anyway admission to pre-KG is closed and getting into any other class is impossible there - either you join in pre or wait for some kid to leave for a vacancy to arise. And Ash will be too old at 4 yrs 3 months to join preKG next year.
It was lunchtime when I went there - the smell of lunchboxes was enough to bring back sick memories of school. I never really enjoyed school with all the caning and other vague punish…

Mum's the word

Mira has mumps. She was supposed to have taken the MMR shot anytime between 15 and 18 months and I had booked for next Monday. Dunno where she contracted it - maybe in the hospital last week when I went to show her to the paed about her cold.
Now I feel I am developing a pain in my left cheek.
V met the ortho yesterday who was a bit wishy washy about the recovery. He said it will take another 2 months to find out if the blood vessels that got cut are back in action. Otherwise, artificial replacement of the said portion.
Trying times indeed.

February again

Birthday month - mine, mom's, Renjith's and Ash's (9, 14, 16 & 25). Also Sajichayan and my old classmates Usha and Prem. And my granpa's death anniversary on the 15th.
I was engaged to V on Feb 7, 1999.
One small month, but one great month of happenings! Valentine's day, Maramon convention in Kerala...
Post-lunch musings
Had lunch at an Udipi restaurant called Mathsya (meaning Fish) - a misnomer for a pure veg restaurant. But apparently, it is named after Lord Vishnu's Matsya avatar - incarnation as Fish.
I had a plate of guliappas (bondas made using dosa batter I think) with red chutney and bowl of almond mushroom soup - it did wonders to my sore throat.
The other four in our group had the Udipi thali, now costing Rs. 90 - a long meal course presenting a splendid array that is wasted on picky eaters like us. Shonali best describes it in her Eating Out column:
In the end it turned out to …