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Malabar memories – 1

The last week of December 2016 saw us heading out to the beautiful land of coconut palms and backwaters.The enchanting land of Kathakali, Theyyam and Mohiniyaatam.The land of picturesque house boats and delectable Sadhya. Yes, Kerala it was and I am still in nostalgia land even though it has been a couple week of weeks since we are back from there. 

The finalised plan was to visit Bekal fort & beach and a couple of temples in the vicinity. Then proceed for a day cruise on a house boat in the backwaters. Finally visit Udupi Sri Krishna temple and head back home.

Mid last year as V and I were discussing the holiday plan for December, he suggested Allepey/Kumarakom and a cruise on a house boat. As we were almost finalising on a Allepey centric holiday, we stumbled upon information on the Valiyaparamba backwaters near Bekal. Suddenly, our holiday plan took a 360° turn and a northward leap and bang! the base shifted to Kasaragod.

Once the house boat and train ticket bookings were taken care of, I pinged a dear friend for suggestions for a good hotel for our stay. His home town is very close to Bekal and it was he who suggested Thalatoor Heritage. The rave reviews TH had received on TripAdvisor plus the friend’s recommendation finalised TH as our accommodation at Kasaragod.

Right from the first phone call, there was this warmth about Aunty. As I tried to address her as Mrs.Shyamala, she told me to just call her ‘ Aunty’ ! We discussed our accommodation plan and food preferences. After speaking to her a couple of times in between, our itenerary was also planned.Then, it just came down to waiting for the vacation to begin.

The long wait of about 4 plus months finally came to an end and our family of five, including my MIL,  was finally chugging away to Kasaragod. 

An uneventful train journey, breakfast in the train( courtesy the train running late by a couple of hours ), landing in Kasargod by mid morning, being picked up by the calm Balu, snugly fitting in the extra large Kerala Auto which could could accommodate a big suitcase, two traveller bags, one (plus one) backpack, three adults and two kids, riding through  traffic free roads, passing through narrow lanes, a bumpy ride on the last stretch and zoom! we were at Thalatoor Heritage.

We are almost there..

Almost a century old, Thalatoor Heritage is in the midst of a 7 acre property with a kolam, a meandering stream, a paddy field, arecanut and coconut palms, a variety of fruit and flowering trees and pineapple shrubs.It stands pretty on an elevated plinth done in bright red paver tiles. The house though renovated , holds much of its heritage charm.

Prickly beauty

As Aunty and Dr.Nair (Uncle) greeted us warmly and ushered us in, it felt like we were visiting our relatives in their charming country side home. Aunty’s exuberance and geniality makes for a wonderful host as does Uncle’s calm and composed demeanour.

Sipping our welcome drink, a pale pink and absolutely refreshing juice of ‘jambaka’ fruit, we exchanged pleasantries with our hosts.The delicious juice was the first of the things to indicate the gastronomical treat we were in for.

Our room on the first floor had a red oxide flooring with wooden ceiling. It was comfortable and had views overlooking the rear side of the property. The only sounds we would hear there other than our voices, were those of the birds chirping, Paachi – the pet dog’s occasional barks and the tuk tuk of the auto as it came to fetch us for the sight seeing trips.

Our room..

View from our room

Another view from the first floor

Apart from the hospitality, the highlight of our stay there was the food! There is no doubt that Aunty is a cook par excellence. She pampered us with food that satiated our taste buds and served us with lip smacking fare – Aapam, puttu kadala, Rice roti, banana flower cutlet , Olan, Mor kozhambu, Mini Idlies in curd, Orange pudding, Ela Ada, Kozhukatta, Adapradaman and lots more. How I wish I had noted down the names of all the dishes! Even the mediocre tasting drumstick leaves curry and Karela fry tasted yummy with Aunty’s cooking.Little T,  Our finicky younger one, would lick her hands and polish her plate clean during the afternoon meals.S, the elder one tucked in delightfully to her tummy’s  content.

I am sure even the blandest food Aunty makes for her family would be spicier than the food she cooked for us! She kept in mind my request for a complete vegetarian menu with the lowest spice levels and delivered it perfectly! Also to her credit, none of the dishes ever got repeated during any of the meals. We had a total of five meals, all prepared and served by Aunty during our stay there for two days. 

Dining table conversations had Aunty sharing stories of how she and her nephew excitedly ventured in to the homestay business, their teething troubles, interesting experiences with guests and tidbits about her children and grandchildren. Post every meal, T got in to this routine of dancing merrily to ‘Lungi dance’!

If meal times overflowed with food and conversation, early mornings was a blend of divine and soothing tranquility, with the notes of Uncle’s Shloka chants reaching our sleepy ears in the room above. Our mornings and evenings were spent in visiting the nearby attractions.

We were so impatient to start gorging on our food every time that it never occurred to V or me to click snaps of the food before any of the meal. It was already dinner on the last night by when realisation dawned. As V set to click a couple of snaps, Aunty wryly remarked, ‘ There was such a variety of dishes on the table these two days and you chose this meal to take snaps? Hhmph!’ Ha ha! Due to our heavy lunch, Aunty had kept the dinner menu a little simpler and hence the remark.

On the morning we left, Aunty had kept ready our breakfast  of  Idly and chutney neatly packed in banana leaves to take with us for the journey. After we bid good bye, we left with wonderful memories and promises to return to savour all the good times at Thalatoor Heritage once again.

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‘S’nippets – 4

The other morning, S was tossing about in bed. She had just opened her eyes and I was sitting next to her. She suddenly said, ‘ I am getting scared Amma’. Worried if she was not keeping well, I asked her what was happening to her. ‘ All the months are just getting over fast Amma and it will be June soon. Then I will have to go to UKG’, she said as I listened wondering what could be the problem with that. ‘ I don’t want to go to UKG because I want to be with N ma’am only. That’s why I am scared’. Phew! I was relieved even as I suppressed my smile thinking about ‘all the months are getting over’.

I told her that she would get used to the ma’am in UKG. ‘Didn’t you like M ma’am in Playschool? Then you started liking your S ma’am in Nursery. Now it’s N ma’am in L.K.G. So, you’ll start liking your U.K.G. ma’am also. Let’s see who is your U.K.G. ma’am’, I told her. ‘ I already know! It’s R ma’am’, she said. ‘Don’t worry.You will start liking R ma”am too, ok?’. A slow smile spread across her face as she nodded her head.

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One of S’s other worries these days is about her friend DR’s views. ‘Amma, DR always says ‘not nice’ about anything I wear or take to school’, said S with a sad face. ‘ It’s ok. maybe she doesn’t like them. You like what you have, no? That’s what matters’, I told her. ‘Yes Amma, but N ma’am also likes my things. She always says ‘nice’ to me’, she beamed. ‘See? N ma’am likes. So don’t worry about others’,   I reasoned with her. ‘But I like everything that DR gets. She doesn’t like mine. She says ‘very nice’ to BM(another friend) always’, S declared sadly again.

I decided to become a wicked mother for a change. ‘Why don’t you also tell ‘not nice’ to DR next time she gets something new to school?’, I suggested unwisely. ‘But I like everything she gets to school’, S protested. ‘ Just say it chumma (simply)’, I persisted. ‘No, Amma’, she nodded her head and said firmly, ‘ N ma’am says ‘God will punish’ if we say things chumma(simply)’. ‘Hmmm…then leave it S. Appa and Amma get you nice things and you like them, don’t you? So, don’t keep thinking what others say, ok?’, was what I could tell her. Thankfully, the conversation ended there for the time. But am sure it will come up soon again.

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This morning, on our way from home, a cow crossed our path. On seeing it, S suddenly shouted ‘Thank you cow!’, as we let the cow pass. Surprised, V asked her about her reaction. ‘Appa’, she squealed, ‘ The cow gives us milk, no? That’s why I said thanks to it!’. V and I laughed out aloud. Kids !! Wonder what made her say that today..

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PS: I had considered taking part in the ‘Blogging Marathon’ proposed by LLT. But when I really thought about it, I decided I could no way post for every single day of this month. I some how am comfortable posting only when I really feel like it. Thanks LLT, for having invited me to be a part of the marathon, but I certainly wouldn’t have done justice to it.

Fancy Anniversary, Skipping girl and Cchota Bheem

I love fancy dates. And this is the closest I think I’ll ever get to a fancy date.

On our 6th Wedding Anniversary.

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I managed to find the ‘skipping girl’ drawing done by S I had mentioned about here.

Have I mentioned that S loves to draw? She does. These days, she loves to draw characters from ‘Cchota Bheem’. These are some of the pictures she has drawn recently.

She asks us for the spellings and labels the characters. One more drawing done by her:

This is the picture of the brat admiring her ‘art’ work being displayed on her room’s pin-up board:

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Just a few more hours left for Deepavali and I can feel the festive spirits soaring up everywhere. I am sure all of you must be busy with last minute preparations for the festival. We are just wrapping up our’s here. Wishing you all a very happy and safe Deepavali. Waiting to read many Deepavali upadates soon 🙂

 

‘S’nippets-3

This post is for the bubbly Kismitoffeebar who was sweet to ask me for some S updates quite sometime ago. So Kismi, here it goes 🙂

S has been in the ‘ I want to grow my hair long’ mode for quite sometime now. So, one day, I tried to make her eat the curry leaves in her rasam rice instead of letting her push them aside. ‘ You want long hair no? Then eat these leaves. They will make your hair long’, I said. To my surprise, she obeyed by putting the leaves in her mouth. After eating them, she ran her hand through her hair and asked, ‘ Amma, has my hair grown long now?’. Talk of wanting instant results!

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This was when S started going to her new school in June. She came back home one noon and was regaling me and my mom about her day at school. She was narrating about the other kids in her class. She said, ‘ I spoke to one paapa ( baby!)  in my class. Paapa’s name is JP’. We nodded our heads. Imagine our surprise and laughter when she continued, ‘ I asked paapa ‘are you a boy or girl?’  What!! The JP kid seemed to have obliged S by replying that she was a girl! ‘So did you tell her your name S?’, I asked after I stopped laughing. ‘No, Amma. She said she will ask my name tomorrow, So I’ll tell her my name when she asks tomorrow!’. Mom and I could only continue to laugh 🙂

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This was again about six months ago, when S was, well, a bit more younger :). She used to leave behind a few sips of milk in her glass almost every other day. One day MIL told her , ‘ If you waste milk like this, the cow is going to get angry and will refuse to give you any milk’. The brat replied, ‘ Paati, our milk comes from milkman uncle and not the cow!’.  MIL just didn’t know what to say 🙂

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Last week, S had drawn a girl with a skipping rope. MIL wanted to pull her leg. She said, ‘S , the girl’s kudumi (pony) is on the top of her head standing. It should be a bit down, no?’ S didn’t hesitate even for a second. ‘ Paati’, she said ‘ The girl is skipping no? That’s why her kudumi has gone up like that!’. MIL was lost for words  as much as she was lost in her grand daughter’s spontaneity.

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PS: Am trying to hunt for that drawing. Will put it up as soon as I find it. Promise!

The Meet that was – Part 2

Have you read Part 1 of this? Take a look at it here, in case you haven’t.

V carried S up the stairs to LLT’s house (remember she had lost her slippers?). I walked in to the house, and suddenly felt a little lost for a micro second. We were the last ones to arrive and all the other gals appeared to have comfortably settled down by then.  ‘Hi Nithvin!’ , RM greeted me.  I had no trouble recognising her, as she is very close to her description in her blog, but for one thing- her weight. From no angle she looked like she weighed 70+ kgs. Lady, looks like your weighing scales have been deceiving you all along. Time to change them, ok? 😉

The others had to introduce themselves, as I had no clue as to who was who. The other two bloggers  who I hadn’t mentioned previously were Uma and Smitha. That made us eight girls and seven kids. In a few minutes, I too settled down comfortably. The kids had all come back inside by then and it was cute to see them all getting pre-occupied with the toys that caught their fancy.

S seemed to have decided to display only her good side that day ( I swear I didn’t force her to do it 😉 ). She started handing out the biscuit packets we had got for the kids. I got to see first hand of how close twins can be. Mannat had been playing by herself in a corner and S hadn’t yet noticed her. She gave one to Tamanna and saw R ( Uma’s son) next. So, she extended the next packet to him. Before R could realise what was happening, Tamanna took the packet and ran over to Mannat and handed it over to her. That was such a cute sight 🙂  R and S were wondering what happened and I then told S to hand over the next packet to R again.

There was a ‘squeaking’ chair- chair which squeaked when you sat and jumped on it! He he 🙂 It was the first time I was seeing one and had the chair not been  child sized and been a lot more bigger, I would have definitely tried jumping on it too 🙂 This chair was one of the star attractions of Chutku’s toys. He was a sweet heart to have agreed to let six other kids come and invade his place. The only time he seemed to have an objection was when S took a toy train and he immediately objected to it and asked her to keep it back. Apparently that was his favourite toy as he agreed to share another car with S. Kids ! 🙂

R (RM’s R) had managed to find a caterpillar toy which matched the colour of her dress. I was having some baby talk with her and asked her for her mother’s name. She kept shaking her head and jumping up and down on the squeaky chair and suddenly said ‘N—a!’.  No, that wasn’t her mother’s name, but she had very smartly thought of a name that rhymed with her’s . Poohi was the matured kid of the lot. She had immersed herself in a book, but after a while, got tempted by the commotion the other kids were making and joined them in having fun going up and down the stairs.

We girls were busy in our world, catching up with each other. Thanks to LLT’s mother who had an eye on the kids, we could take our minds off them. Smitha and I seemed familiar to each other, but strangely both of us weren’t able to figure out why. I realised that I had come across a post of Uma’s which was one of the winning posts in a contest and had for some weird reason, assumed her to be from Coorg. Turned out that she wasn’t.

Now, I can vouch that the rains follow RM. Why else do you think it rained in Bangalore that evening? We actually requested her to stay back here for some more time, so that the we could have more rain. But she just refused 😦 . Now you know who to blame for the dry spell since then, don’t you? 😉

Seema’s home made brownies were totally yummy. To me, the surprise package of the evening was SS. I had assumed her to be a total chatter box after reading her blog. That evening, she was more of a blushing bride – to – be :). We made her narrate her ‘love story’, which she did, blushing 🙂 . In between all this, we managed to eat some yummy things as well. There was samosa, bhel, sandwich, chips, brownies and ..that’s all I noticed.  And yes, rosagullas too!

Tamanna was very friendly. She and Garima aunty indulged in a very serious discussion. When the kids were munching the snacks, I suddenly saw Tamanna running towards S with a water bottle. She must be Seema’s little helper at home, isn’t she Seema? Mannat was the quiet and silent twin. R (Uma’s) came running to the service area and pointed at something outside and spoke very seriously in his kid lingo. I gave up my attempt to understand even after he repeated himself a couple of times and pretended to follow him 😀

Then came the ‘gifting’ part. The aunties handed out their gifts to the kids  and some gals had got gifts for the kids’ mothers and aunties too 🙂 . We then realised we hadn’t taken any snaps and V was the photographer of the evening. The kids weren’t as enthusiastic as their mothers and aunties and refused to pose for more than one snap. They seemed more interested in crowding around V and watch their mothers and aunties being clicked.

I started preparing S for our commute back home. I was tying her scarf and Poohi got very curious about it. She wanted to know what I was doing and why I was doing that. I explained to her that I was tying a scarf to protect S’s ear from the wind. It was cute to see her listen and comprehend what I was saying. RM’s R was close by and asked me where was my scarf as I had tied it only for S. I was totally floored by her concern. And thanks to RM, I was saved the trouble of coming back searching for my knee brace.

It was finally time to leave and being the late comers, it was only fair we left late ;). We left a couple of minutes after the others. LLT had left Chutku in the balcony and come down. The gal had not been keeping  well and  had still been brave enough to host us. V and I expressed our concern that she was going to have a tough time cleaning up all the mess, but she was sweet to pretend not to be bothered about it. Hope her House-Help didn’t ditch her the next day.

Well, that was the story of the blogger’s meet. Here are a couple of pictures:

The only time the kids were quiet for a few seconds-snack time

The gifts that S & I hauled from the meet. There’s a packet of dry fruits and chocolates missing here- it got gobbled up much before I could take this snap 😎

The Meet that was – Part 1

For a relatively newbie blogger like me, last Saturday was very special. I got to meet not one or two, hold your breath- seven bloggers under one roof ! And what a meeting it was !! When I think of it even now, it brings  a big smile on my face 🙂

The meet got initiated with RM‘s mail which announced her impending visit to B’lore. Things got kick started with all the bloggers on board the chain mail confirming that they would attend the meet. LLT offered to played host and invited everyone to her place.

The date and time was set. I informed V well in advance that he had to keep himself free on Saturday post noon.  I assigned him the not so enviable job of ferrying me and S to the meet and back home. The guy accepted it without a protest. Then came the catch- I learned that LLT’s spouse wouldn’t be around at home for the meeting. My man wanted to back off. Luckily, Seema wrote in saying that her husband would be accompanying her for the meet as he had to drop her and the kids. I heaved a sigh of relief and my man agreed to come once again.

As luck would have it, Seema’s husband had decided to go on some errand after dropping her and the kids at LLT’s place. Seema wrote to me again about her husband’s plans and I started to despair again. The girls were sweet to suggest that V could join us and that they would try not to make him feel out of place. But I knew V wouldn’t be easy to convince about joining a party with eight girls and be the lonely man out there.

V offered to drop me and S at LLT’s place and then loiter around till it was time to pick us back. I wasn’t OK with that. He simply refused to come in with us. I got irritated at one point and threatened declared that I would inform the others that I wouldn’t be attending the meet. Finally, I left it to him to decide what he wanted to do and concentrated on getting ready. I conveniently forgot about my threat and thankfully he didn’t remind me of it either 😀

Have I mentioned that I can be optimistically pessimistic ? I am, at times. The day on which RM was to travel, she got her foot injured. When she informed us about her twisted ankle in the evening, just a few hours before her train was due, I started wondering if RM would be able to make it to B’lore. So, the next morning, I messaged her asking about her foot. There was no reply. I decided to have positive thoughts and convinced myself that she might be busy tending to her ankle and kid on the train.

Now, RM and Summer Script (SS) were the only two bloggers among the other five that I knew from the blog world. I hadn’t come across most of the others’ blogs till then. I knew Seema was the mother of twins, but had not read her blog regularly. I was very eager to meet all of them, but my optimistically pessimistic inner voice kept wondering if I would meet them all. What if SS had to go on last minute shopping, now that she had announced about her wedding? Or RM had cancelled her trip to B’lore because of her ankle? And what if the others got busy with some other things at the last minute? How disappointing that would be!

With all these thoughts, I messaged LLT that I would call her that evening or the next morning to get directions to her place. I immediately got a call from her! I liked her pleasant and friendly voice. Here we were, two women talking about meeting each other the next day and we hardly knew each other! She was totally sweet to be inviting a stranger! I visited her blog that day just to make sure that I knew at least something about my hostess.

I had started preparing S a week in advance that she would be meeting many ‘babies’ and she could play with them the coming week. Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny. I messaged (what’s with me and messaging, huh?) LLT to double check that the meet was on. No reply. I tried calling her on her mobile and again no reply. ‘ She must be busy getting things ready’, I thought and dialed her land line number.  I don’t give up that easily sometimes 🙂

This time, LLT answered the call. See, this is what land lines are for- they make sure you hear them. Turned out that she had kept her mobile on silent mode and hadn’t noticed my call. She assured me that the meeting was on and that she would have informed me if at all it had been cancelled. Yeah, true! I hadn’t considered that 😦

I then got a call from Garima. We had caught up  earlier that week after we realised we would be attending the meet. Her husband was coming to drop her as well but we agreed that we couldn’t force the guys to join us for the meet. We decided to co -ordinate and go together from some closest common point and then hung up. Which never happened because of the rains.

Bangalore, which I fear is going to turn in to a desert soon, experienced an unexpected shower that evening. Any normal, parched for water Bangalorean would have rejoiced the rains. I too wanted to , but couldn’t help muttering about the timing. We just started and before we knew, huge drops came pelting down on us. Luckily, I had S’s raincoat with me. But in my hurry, I forgot to carry my jacket along, though I had an umbrella in my bag.

V stopped the bike in front of some shop and we hurried inside to take shelter. When the rain showed no signs of slowing down even after some 10 to 15 minutes, I messaged LLT that we were stuck in the rains. She asked us to be careful and take our time and come slowly.

As soon the rain reduced to a drizzle, we got on to the road again. V was riding a bit slower than usual just to be safe. I started praying that the skies don’t open up again that evening till we got back home after the meet. I * ahem * even promised a small offering to God if he would just fulfill my wish. Sigh! a bit shallow there, right..

Anyway, we had to stop once again briefly but God seemed to have taken some pity on me and the rain decided to take a break. We managed the rest of the commute uneventfully except that S lost her slippers as she had dozed off on the way 😎

We finally reached LLT’s place but not before bugging her a couple of times to get the direction to her place. We reached the building and no sooner had V started plotting his escape, LLT appeared on the balcony, as if by magic. She was flanked by a bunch of excited kids. She waved at us and sweetly coaxed V to come in saying that her dad was home to give him company. V couldn’t refuse the invitation and I heaved a sigh of relief 😀

PS 1: This is turning out to be long post. I’ll stop here and continue with the actual details of the meet in the next post.

PS 2: I learned much later that RM had forgotten her phone charger and couldn’t access her phone as the battery had completely drained.

PS 3: This happens to be my 25th Post. What a lucky co-incidence to be blogging about a Bloggers’ meet for this post *preens*

God, Where are you!!

S has taken to declaring that she is scared at night times since the last few days. As soon I pull up her blanket and adjust it according to her instructions and then lie down, she starts,  ‘Amma, I am scared’. To my prodding on  what was she scared of , she said she was scared of  ‘poochi’ (insect).  I have told her that there is nothing to get scared of and besides, I was just next to her. She could wake me up any time if she thought some ‘Poochi’ has come to attack her. Then, a couple of nights ago, I told her to recite a shloka and go to sleep.

Last night, she stated that she was scared again. I asked her to recite a shloka. ‘No Amma, I am still scared’, she said.This was how our conversation went:

Me: ‘ There is nothing to be scared of , S. Think of Ummachi (God). Ummachi will not let anything bad happen to you ‘

S: ‘ Amma. I want to see Ummachi (God) ‘

Me: ‘ We can’t see Ummachi. But Ummachi is here next to us. So don’t worry about any poochi. Just go to sleep’

S: ‘Why can’t we see Ummachi?’

Me: ‘Err.. We just can’t see Ummachi. But Ummachi is right here in this room to help us’

S: ‘ Oh, Ummachi has made himself invisible? ‘

Me: (Relieved to have got a lead from her ) ‘Yes, yes, Ummachi has made himself invisible’

S : ‘Amma, If I ask Ummachi to chase away any cat or rat if it comes to me in the night, he will do it? ‘

Me: ( thinking  how poochi has vanished and  it is cat and rat now )  ‘Yes S, he will’

S: ‘Amma, I want to touch Ummachi

Me: ‘ What! No, you can’t, S ‘

S: ‘Amma, I want to touch Ummachi. You know how? ‘ and proceeds to demonstrate by extending her fingers and touching the pillow gingerly.

Me : (Wondering where the conversation was leading to ) ‘No S, you can’t touch Ummachi. He will get tickled if you touch him’

S: (giggling)  ‘ Ummachi will get tickled? What will he do if he gets tickled?’

Me: ‘ He will laugh ha ha ha! S is tickling me ! ha ha ha! ‘

S is in a fit of laughter. Somehow, I manage to wrap up the conversation and S slowly enters zombie land.

Relieved, I snooze away too.

This morning, I am struggling to open my eyes and the movement next to me tells me S is already awake.

‘Amma’, she calls me. ‘What?’, I ask her, trying to draw her close to me and hug her. ‘I want to see Ummachi

‘GOD !’ was all that I could manage to scream.

Award Time

Woohoo! Award time for me! The very affable and enthusiastic Techie2mom has very kindly given these two awards to me.

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Thank you Techie2mom and also Scribby for giving me the ‘One Lovely Blog’ Award earlier.

As per the rules, I have to state seven facts about me. Now what other better chance to reveal such interesting mundane things about me.. So, here I go 🙂

  1. I must have been a tortoise in my past life. Why ? because I can get in to my shell at times and then take my own sweet time to come out of it .
  2. In my present life, I had my first haircut at the parlour when I was 28 years (that’s right, years not months). I used to have long and thick hair and when it began to dwindle, I decided to cut it short. Till then, I used to have an occasional trim at home.
  3. Except for some three odd years when I was in Chennai, I have been living in Bangalore for the last twenty three years.
  4. I am meticulous in returning phone calls and replying to mails/messages.
  5. I haven’t ever written down or recorded birthday dates of any of my friends or close ones and not so close ones anywhere. No, I don’t rely on FB to remind me either. It’s all up * taps head* here you know.. While on the subject of birthdays, S and I share the same birth numbers ! Her dd-mm is mine also but in the reverse order !
  6. I use contact lenses now. I started wearing spectacles right from when I started school.
  7. I secured state level first rank in Sanskrit Prathama and Dwitiya exams when I was in High school. Of course, my Sanskrit needs to be brushed up as I am completely out of touch with the language after my school days.

 

Seven points over! Really! When I started writing this blog, I just couldn’t think of anything to write about myself and hence the very brief write up in the ‘About‘ page. But now, I seem to have so many things to say about myself!

But most of the people I know in this blog world have got these awards already. So, I am not really passing these awards to anyone in particular. But it is up for any lovely blogger who wants to pick up these lovely awards.

Go on, consider yourself lovely and take these awards if you haven’t already got them.

My Little Friend

I am the kind of person who doesn’t believe in wishing ‘Happy Friendship Day’ . And of course, am too old to be getting ‘friendship’ bands tied on my wrist. But this year , a purple satin band adorns my wrist.

Let me digress a little before I proceed with this.

S’s school had asked to send a friendship band with the kids on Friday. We guessed that the teacher would tie each kid’s band to a classmate and celebrate friendship day  in class. We sent a band with S to school. We were waiting to see whose band she would come home with.

She came home crying that noon from school. She had ‘lost’ the band her teacher had tied on her right wrist. The band was from her classmate A. S was inconsolable and sobbed that the band had become loose on her wrist and must have fallen down in the bus. She asked me to check up the sleeve of her jacket in the hope that the band might be ‘hiding’ there. When it was not to be found, her crying intensified.

We tried to pacify her by offering to buy another band in the evening, but she would have nothing of that. She wanted the exact replica of what her friend’s band had been. ‘Yellow colour’, she insisted. It took all of mine and amma’s collective efforts to get her to stop crying. Finally she agreed to let us buy another band in the evening.

In the evening, it was raining and S seemed to have forgotten about the band. We left it at that. I knew she would bring it up soon, but decided not to remind her. As luck would have it, as soon my sister got back in the night, she brought up the ‘friendship band’ topic without knowing the storm that had blown in the noon.

S’s crying started again. Again, our negotiating and placating skills were utilised to the maximum and I told S that her chitti ( my sister) had a band and would give it her. I was sure that my sister would find at least a thread at home that could be hopefully passed off as a band to S.

She found a fancy string that had come with an invitation and with some persuasion, we successfully passed it off as a band to S. That string band adorned S’s wrist and she showed it off to others at home. Hah! Kids and their naiveté!

So, coming back to the opening lines of this post, today’s newspaper came with  a band pinned on it. My sister showed it to S and mentioned that it was a friendship. S promptly asked her to remove it from the paper and give it to her. She took the purple satin tape from her and hurried over to my side, ignoring my sister’s extended wrist.

‘Amma, this is for you !’ , she said and proceeded to tie it on my wrist. I was so touched by her gesture and extended my hand to get the coveted band.

So, how was your friendship day? Did you get or give anything memorable to a loved one this year.. Go on, share it !

Down memory lane..

Five years ago, around this time ( end of July, to be a bit more precise 🙂 ) I got my first pregnancy confirmed. I suddenly feel like reviving my old memories about those days. Blame it on nostalgia!

Though it was a planned pregnancy, I wonder how I just didn’t check the very first day I missed my period. Or for the next ten days. Partly because I  was recovering from UTI and reasoned that the antibiotics I had taken must have somehow delayed my period. And V was out of country on an official trip. So what? I wanted him to buy the pregnancy test kit ! I had only read about it, never seen it or bought it. So, was hesitant  to buy it by myself. But since the first reason of antibiotics was strongly entrenched in my mind, I decided to wait for V.

We were in Chennai then. We were to visit my parents in B’lore as soon as V came back from his trip. So, he bought the kit the night that we were to travel and I decided to use it the morning we reached B’lore. We were pretty excited by then and I wonder how I even slept that night in the train!

I had informed my amma that I had missed my period and she had suggested that if it was still delayed even when I had reached B’lore, we would visit the gynaecologist. But V and I couldn’t hold ourselves till the afternoon or evening to meet the doctor and wanted to use the kit by ourselves first in the morning.

So, when I reached my Parents’ home, I managed to lock myself in the loo after the initial round of catching up with everyone at home. I had asked V to wait in the room upstairs as I went to the attached toilet. It took a few seconds for me to register that the test had come positive! I honestly don’t know how to describe how I felt. I guess I was relieved that the intended agenda had been accomplished 😉

V was as expected, very excited. He kept asking if it was really positive and I showed him the test strip. We even took a snap of the strip on his mobile. We just hugged and spent some time in silence. Next came the dilemma of how to break the news to our families. I was the first among my cousins to get married and the only one to have been married at the time I got pregnant. So, I was kind of clueless about how to break the news to my family. I think I had this predicament since I knew neither amma nor my aunts had used a preg. test kit and I was unsure how they would react to this way, as the accepted and conventional way back then in our family had been getting it confirmed by a doctor. Now it seems so funny that I even had such thoughts but that’s how it was then.

I asked V to go down first. I wanted  a few minutes to myself . I could hear my assembled family ask V what was I  doing and he replied that I was in the loo! My chittappa and athai had also come home as it was my paternal grandmother’s devasam ( annual death ceremony) the next day. I  could hear my family discussing which doctor to go to for the check up. When I came down, amma was curious as to what I had been up to. It felt a bit weird not to disclose the truth to her. They were all excited and decided to check with our family doctor first.

Amma called her up and told her about my condition. And guess what she told? To first use a pregnancy test kit and then consult a gynaec. based on the result! I felt sheepish when amma announced this. I decided to play along. V was again assigned the task of procuring a test kit that day. For V and me, it took all our self control to keep the good news to ourselves for one whole day

I ‘ officially’ tested positive the next day with the kit. Everyone was happy and we decided to go to the gynaec. also. At the hospital, my gynaec. asked me if I had got the test strip along. I hadn’t but showed her the picture of the one we had clicked during our ‘surreptitious’ test. She asked me if I wanted to get it tested in the lab also. I agreed and got another positive that day. Three positives in two days for one pregnancy! Anyway, it just made the pregnancy all the more memorable 🙂