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Showing posts from August, 2009

Test drive

Another weekend spent on test drives, visiting car showrooms and reading up reviews. V has his mind set on the new Honda City though I am trying to push in the Fiat Punto or Linea, which are more attractively priced. His craze for the Scorpio nosedived after a testdrive at the St George School Grounds yesterday where an exchange mela was on - found it too huge for city drive...
Since he had kindly offered to give me a few lessons on our 5-year-old Zen before it is put for sale, we drove up to the church grounds in the school premises and I took a few rounds. He turned out to be a very impatient and irritated instructor and I decided I'd rather hire an instructor until I was comfy with the car and the roads.
The Maruti Driving School's very cautious approach was not V, who learnt driving on his own over 20 years ago, had in mind. For 3-4 days in March, one of the MDS instructors had made me go in circles in a residential colony at a snail's pace, instructing me all the time t…

Ms. Santa

Mira is trying to groom Ash as her goonda/henchman (coming as we do from Goondas' Own Country). "Will you beat Amma for me, Ashin? She scolded me." Sometimes he humours her but at times his loyalty to his mother is greater :)
"I wont buy anything (gifts) for you," Mira tells me when my ways dont please her.
Or, "Would you like a whack like the one I gave Ammama (nanny)?" she asks me in all seriousness.
Mira can twist the nanny, who has a soft corner for her, around her lil finger or bully her with ease. This nanny-Mira alliance makes me become a little over-protective about Ash who gets left in the lurch. But she has been more solicitous about him than most nannies we have hired.
In fact, she has returned from Kerala like Santa Claus bringing gifts and goodies for us - from a colorful Popy umbrella as an advance birthday gift for Mira to cakes and halwas and some homegrown (read organic) fruits and vegetables. And it feels good to leave the house and the …


It has been a week of birthdays and weddings. From Baby Viona's birthday downstairs to her aunt's wedding yesterday, and V's birthday on 23rd and my brother's today, it has been a fun time. More weddings to attend in the coming week.V kept saying that he had no interest in celebrating birthdays, but Ash would have none of it. The moment he woke up he asked for the birthday cake and kept reminding V the whole day. In the end, the father had no option but to go to the bakers and get a few slices of chocolate truffle - with all of us excpet Mira on various sorts of diet restrictions a full cake was out of the question. But when they made him light a candle and sang happy birthday, he almost wished he had done it properly.V celebrated it the way he thought best - he attended the Sunday mass (but he will remembered in the Holy Qurbana only the next Sunday since 23rd is the beginning of another week) and then took us car-window shopping. We looked up Maruti SX4 and Honda Cit…

Personality development

Ash ends his queries with a 'Undo-Illayo', 'Yes or No', 'is it there or is it not' etc. And we parents have been forced to give straight answers. No beating round the bush. The nanny tells me that Ash lies a lot these days. "How did this child learn to tell lies?" she asks in surprise. "Dont we lie a lot to him? We tell him we are taking Mira to the doctor when we are actually taking her to Marrybrown or to the church. We hide a boiled egg in Mira's plate and tell him it is only potato. He is clever enough to see through our falsehoods but keeps quiet because he has to be patient till he gets better," I tell her. She has no answer and gives a sheepish smile instead. I often ask Ash if he ate all his snacks and fruits at school or exchanged them with his benchmate for biscuits and junk food.He shakes his head to say no. Not believing him, I say, Kallaa (liar) or Kallam parayallu (dont tell lies). It gets him worked up. "Amma, dont ke…

The mask

"My classmate Roshan wore a mask today. Please, will u get me one too?" Ash entreated the moment I reached home yesterday.
I told him I will see about it. We had a couple of unused surgical masks from V's hospitalisation period two years back! And V had bought a few the other day at double their price, in case we needed to use it at some point. Though people who are not infected by the flu virus have been advised not to wear masks, many in Chennai are seen donning a mask these days. Yesterday, two of my travel companions in the share auto had masks on, while some others secured their faces with dupattas in such a way that they looked like the Hamas cadre. Many prefer the economical route - hankerchiefs once-folded like a triangle and tied at the back of the head.
And despite the government, some sections of the media and other institutions trying to stop the panic attack, some schools have insisted on all pupils wearing masks or have declared holiday indefinitely.
Ash, bein…

Fruity pair

Sometimes children can trap you with your own words. Ash is one kid who wont touch bananas, which doesnt really bother us because a couple or two doctors said that bananas are not suitable for people with eczema.
Mira loves bananas and guavas while Ash prefers papayas and grapes. So there is not much conflict of fruits at home except when Mira takes a fancy to Ash's favorites.
The other day, as V gauded a constipated Mira to take 2-3 Kerala poovans at a go by telling her that it will help improve her complexion, he asked Ash to try one too if he wanted to become fairer. He told him that the secret for his cousin Minu's fair skin was a banana a day.
"Does her father eat bananas too?" Ash asked.
Yes, said V to stress his theory.
"Then how come he is so black?"
V was stumped. And Ash was spared of a banana ordeal.

The panic button

The kids have an extended weekend thanks to a couple of holidays - SriKrishna Jayanti today and Independence Day on 15th - and the swine flu alert (so tomorrow is a holiday for kindergarteners). Ash's teacher sent through Mira all his classwork, homework and worksheets to be done at home. Which means I have to nag him during the hours I am at home to finish them all.
The nanny is a little unwell since yesterday and had to be taken to the doctor - a dizziness probably caused by a blood sugar variation. The kids, finding her unwell in the evening, went quiet and behaved themselves (no fights) until we arrived.
So apart from the cooking and washing, I suddenly found myself having to take care of the nanny and the kids, who had to be bathed and fed and made to do their class chores (Mira doesnt have any, so she coloured people green and red and blue in her new colouring book. She left one leaf on a mango tree without colour because she said it made her hand ache, and proceeded to the ne…

Schizophrenic mom

Ash missed school today for the strangest reason - he/I forgot to take his schoolbag along. While the father-son thought I would follow them with the bag as usual, a harried me (following a sermon from the hubby for missing the housing loan EMI deadline) thought I heard the father asking the son to take it. At the second red signal, I discovered that Ash did not have it. So, after giving me a lecture and and an advice to see a doctor about my failing memory and madness, V took a u-turn and headed home.
Which was a sad thing because Ash had woken up early without any effort from our part. Which is not the case with Mira, who we have to prod and plead and threaten and bully (by sprinkling water on her sleeping face or forcibly lifting her from the bed) for a full 15 minutes.
But he must have been tired for he went back to sleep soon after returning home. His sleepless nights continue though he doesnt trouble us much with his itching.
** I am reading Paulo Coelho's Veronika decides to D…

Weekend mercies

Things I did this weekend:
For once, I got a proper, 2-day weekend. I decided to take my day off on Saturday after a very late night at work on Friday. We could sleep till 8 a.m. since the kids didnt have to be rustled up by 7 am to go to school.Ash had to be taken to hospital for a change of dressing, only to be told that the surgical walk-in clinic functions till 4 pm only. Anyway the surgeon who attended on him the other day in the Emergency was kind enough to do the needful.Later in the day, the kids enjoyed themselves playing with Jason's toys while we adults chatted past dinner time. Despite the hosts assuring me that they will set the house back in order, I left with a guilty conscience looking at all the toys strewn on the floor. My kids need to learn to keep back toys in their place, especially on a visit.After Sunday mass, we attended a prayer group meeting of a different area in the evening because we were specially invited. Every Sunday evening, church members of variou…


Ash had his first test (letters a-f) on Tuesday, and the second on Thursday (1-50). The former, I made him practise with great difficulty (he is just too lazy to write these days since school has become an occasional pastime for him) a few times. But with each attempt, the mistakes increased. If in the first round, he got the b and d mixed up, in the later rounds the e went upside down and f looked the other way. To the extent that I began to worry if it was dyslexia.
But after reading up some literature on dyslexia, I relaxed. Apparently reversal of words is fine till a child is 6. And anyway he is just beginning to learn the small alphabets and numbers. (He also gets 6,9, 7 and 3 wrong.)
The English test book reached home day before, and he got only b and d wrong - I mean b became d and d b. The teacher told me that was okay since kids who attend school regularly also get it wrong.
As for the Maths test, he wrote only 1-20 and lost interest thereafter, she said when she called today to…

A rath yatra

From MAHABS chariotOn Saturday, we took the kids to a beach resort in Mahabalipuram to chill out. Some 10-15 of V's colleagues and their families were present too since his company, like many other corporate firms these days, occasionally rewards them with such freebies for meeting deadlines and targets. Before going to the resort, we visited the Shore temple and the Five Rathas (yet again!) since another family wished to see them. The Chariot beach resort is close to the Five Rathas. The resort, much to our disappointment and chagrin is still being developed and the service and facilities were not what we had expected of a star hotel. The cottages looked a bit too dull and deserted for my liking. The tariff is almost on a par with the GRT Temple Bay nearby, but the facilities are not half as good.
The way to the beach has gravel that makes walking barefoot from the beach not an ideal proposition. Anyway, being a private beach it was clean and quiet, and we had it all to ourselves…