Friday Fun – Chutku read and writes

Everyday, once I reach home, I check if Chutku has any homework to get done. Usually, its just 1 page of some alphabet or number at most 2 pages. More often than not, he himself tells me that he has homework.

Sitting in one place, getting that 1 page done used to take sometime initially with lots of erasing and haphazard writing but has improved a wee bit over a period of time. The trouble is with writing within those 4 lines. Otherwise he love to write – give him a book and a pen-he is a happy boy. He draws tortoise, bus,duck, car, kite, chutku – with a huge round head and stick legs and arms πŸ˜› . He has also taken to writing all alphabets and he keeps asking us to spell our names so he can write it. It all started with the first time he wrote his own name – Dad wrote his name in dotted lines and the little fellow traced the dotted lines first and then Dad asked him to spell his name as he write and he wrote it πŸ˜€ Dad had that piece of newspaper saved and I clicked a picture of the first time the little fellow wrote his own name-a milestone of sorts…

Since both hubby and I are always found with a book in our hand, it sometimes irritates the little fellow. So, now he has begun to read the numbers and the alphabets in our book too… The first time, he was sitting on the potty and while I was waiting for him to finish, I had a book in hand. He began to read the capital letters on the book and he was thrilled πŸ˜€ He said “Amma noduuuu, illu ABCD ide” *Amma see, there is ABCD here too* There has been no stopping him after that – he reads everywhere which is a great thing for us – both in terms of keeping him occupied and teaching him new words and sounds.

He sees a bus or table – says “Amma bus,bus-ba,ba-b, Amma B for Bus; Amma table, table-ta, ta-T, Amma T for Table” – so he has started to identify the sounds,letters and the words for most of the alphabets which makes me feel that he is learning something in school πŸ˜€

PS: He has a PTM tomorrow and Im beginning to get worried about what the teacher might say…

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Story Time

Nidra Devi and Kanasina Rani –
Im not great at making up stories like RM but inspired by her and the desperate need to invent some story for the ‘I dont like to sleep’ boy, I came up with this Nidra Devi(Sleep Goddess aka ND) and Kanasina Rani (Dream Princess aka KR) story that I tell him most nights. I try to bring in elements of all the things he did that day. I tell the story in kannada, so I’ve tried a crude translation here.
Every night, ND and KR go to all houses in search of little boys and girls and give them good sleep and happy,colorful dreams. So, one day, when they were going from house to house, in 1 house they see a little boy playing. so, ND says “Come KR, lets go and give good sleep to this kid” and KR says “Ayio, dont want this kid ND-he is still playing, let him play, he will anyway get cranky in sometime and sleep. Come let’s go to some other house”.

They go to house 2 and see a little girl throwing tantrums to have dinner, so they both decide that the little girl is being a bad girl and they will not go to her house.

They go to house 3 and see that a little boy is all ready to sleep but he is not wearing warm clothes at all. But ND says “Come, come lets give this boy good sleep – see he is ready to sleep” then KR says ” No no, ND, wait – look he is not wearing warm clothes,in the middle of the night when Im giving him happy dreams he will wake up from his dreams because he will feel cold. Lets go in search of some other kid”.

Then they come to K-house, go inside and search for a little boy. When they dont find any kid there KR asks ND “This house does not have any kids at all?”, then ND says “Arey wait, lets go upstairs in this house, there is a naughty little boy in this house, lets see what he is doing”. They then come upstairs, search for the little boy, they see that the little boy Chutku is laying down on the bed between his parents and listening to his amma telling story. Then ND is happy, she says “Come, lets go give this little boy a good night’s sleep and happy dreams”. Then KR checks if the little boy is really ready for bed – she checks if he has finished his bathroom, wearing his hoodie and socks, kept his toys away, not throwing any tantrums and then tells ND “Yes, yes, come, today Chutku has been a good boy, come ND you get into his eyes first and give him good sleep, I will come with you and give him colorful, happy dreams. Let us make this boy a happy boy.”

So saying they both get into the little eyes of Chutku and put him to sleep…

The Cat Story-

A few weeks back, I think a cat had littered somewhere very close to our home. Every night for nearly a week we could hear the plaintive cry of a small cat. It was so disturbing that we tried searching for the cat, couldnt find it and finally, since we were loosing sleep because of its crying, we closed the windows too one night.

The next morning when Chutku woke up, I told him that last night, while he was asleep, Appa and I couldnt sleep at all. I told him that there was this little cat that kept crying all night and Appa and I were feeling very bad for it. It was so cold and we thought that little cat was crying because it wasΒ  feeling cold. Chutku asked “Where is its home? If it goes home it will be warm”. I told him that I think it was lost and doesnt know where its home is.
Chutku “Why is it lost?”
Me: “I think it didnt listen to its mother and wandered away, so its lost” (The previous weekend when we had gone to a mall, the little fellow just ran around like crazy and we were running behind him afraid that we will loose him in the huge new year crowd).
Chutku: “Why did its mother not search for it?”
Me: “Its mother searched, I think, but it did not find. Poor Amma cat will also be crying that it is not able to find its baby cat.”
Chutku: ” No amma, its not crying because its lost, it has its Thatha’s house here only no. Its come to its Thatha’s house”
Me: “Is it? It has come to its Thatha’s house? Then thatha must be at home with it. Why do think it was still crying?”
Chutku: “No amma, it has come to its thatha’s house, thatha and ammamma cat are looking after it, it is not feeling cold, but it still wants its amma no-its amma has still not come. Please go tell its amma that the little cat is in its thatha’s house and its crying, let the amma cat come to thatha’s house and take the little cat back home. Little cat is waiting for its amma, thats why its crying.”

Hearing this, I almost cried – is this how he feels everyday? Is he projecting his need for amma in the cat? Thankfully, that night onwards there was no cat crying – I just hope atleast that little cat got to spend enough time with its amma cat…

Weighty Matters

Come new year and most people I talk to have this New Year resolution of weight loss and getting healthy. For all these years I never cared about it, I somehow managed to stay at the ideal weight for my age and height. But offlate, I guess “Middle Age” is catching up with me too… Slowly but surely, I’ve been adding the numbers on the kilos. Im now atleast 4-5kgs more than my ideal weight and reaching the borderline of “Over weight”.

Now the issue is this, anyone who sees me on a daily basis cannot make out the weight gain. They all think that Im just being fussy. But in reality, Im now slowly begining to see the difference – A little bit of flab here and there, I feel the fat where there wasnt that much…the jeans that dont need a belt anymore, the trouser that would fit like a dream now needs a held breath to be hooked…little things…And Im scared of the “Pear shape” – I always associate it with Aunties – sorry, call me shallow, but thats what it is…

But what am I doing about it-nothing, I have tried the GM Diet along with the hubby-while he reduced a couple of kilos by the end of it, I did’nt even loose a few grams. Exercise-sigh! Let me not even go there… I keep coming up with pithy excuses not to exercise – its cold, Im catching a cold, I couldnt wake up, Chutku didnt sleep in the night properly, I cant sweat because I will get rashes, Doctor has told me not to go to Gym (Which is true) I dont have company etc etc;Anything and everything…Basically, Im just lazy to keep at something when I dont see the results.

That’s the biggest problem-I need instant results- I exercise for 1 week and expect that my trouser feels better. This works for many of my friends-they just stop a certain type of food – and they loose weight, whereas in my case the stubborn fat refuses to budge a teeny-weeny nanometer also 😦 Its so demotivating…

Everytime I go shopping now, Im careful about what I buy.Earlier I would just pick up an M size very confidently, now while some of them are fine, some of them refuse to go down the errr…bottom…Why cant they make it all the same size? 😦 I am forced to try every kurta I buy now and tell the tailor to make my dresses a couple of inches looser – you know-just incase these inches decide to grow…

Im slowly getting very conscious of what others are thinking about my dressing sense – does by behind look bigger in this trouser, should I stop wearing this top… Maybe I need to get this kurta loosened a bit? Tuck my tummy in for pictures…

You know, thoughts I didnt have before are cropping up… I NEED to do SOMETHING about this – HELP! Give me ideas please!! Which doesnt involve anything to do with moving my hands and legs more than necessary πŸ˜›

Ramayana – Impressions of Rama – the God or Human?

Whew! Read, Re-read and re-re-read Maya’s response to my questions and I can visualise the steam coming out of her ears and red eyes when she wrote this πŸ˜‰ Before we end this marathon, I wanted to close my end of this discussion as well…

Her view points are awesome! Like I commented at her space, if Rama were alive today,he would give everything to have her as his defence lawyer anytime! πŸ˜€ And I also read all the comments that the others have written. So, am going to borrow a couple of sentences from those responses as well.

I would’nt want to go to the extent of comparing Krishna and Rama – of the fact the Krishna and most people around him already knew he was God incarnate while Rama didnt. I would end up in a total tangent arguement of “Can God alone be perfect or can God be excused for his misdeeds?” See, Im starting on that tangent now.So lets just get back to Ramayana.

Quoting some sentences from what she has written:

“Imagine a rule-book scion like Rama” – Agreed, he was a rule-book scion – a rule book written for the patriarchical society which only questioned the women – why nobody qu estioned if Rama had any relationship with anyone else in the forest while Sita was not there? – that question never gets asked – does it? Fine, accepting that it was that day and age and “Satya yuga” – I will even concede with the Agni-Pareeksha that he asked Sita to undergo. As per the book also, it states that though Rama was missing her, he made her go through the Agni-pareeksha just for the on-lookers to prove that his wife was “Pure”. Once done, then, he should not have backtracked on that promise of purity and banished her – THAT is my grouse. THIS is why being called the “Eka Patni Vrata” doesnt sound right to me.

“Rama-Rajya”, “He was the king – People were hungry to have him as a king” – Exactly, people were looking forward for Rama to return and rule. People looked upto this man who they felt was the epitome of all goodness and righteousness who had already put his wife to agni-pareeksha despite her being Sita- the daughter of the earth and had a standing of her own… He had then brought her home to be his queen. So, if this man, the KING, who did everything right, who could do no wrong, who always wanted to give the right judgements – decided and faced that 1 man who spoke against his wife and addressed the issue of Sita already having paid her dues through the ‘Agni-pareeksha’, for spending all those days in Ravana’s garden and told in his court that he trusted his wife, respected her for it was no fault of hers that she was abducted and that she would continue to be his wife-the Queen – would the citizens of his kingdom rebelled? Would it not have sowed the seeds of change, of respecting women start from there? I think that would have become a new rule, a new way of living a better life, people in the kingdom too would begin to respect the women in their life… Would that not have set new standards and make it a better “Rama Rajya”?Β  #

I think it would- for all the things that have been written about Rama being the best King – did it all stem from the ONLY fact that he banished his wife for the sake of the kingdom? I dont think so-he must’ve been a great ruler, a leader, an inspiration to his people – so could he not have gauged that, appreciated that and used that to create a new rule of respecting women?

Here’s where I feel he failed – he just went by the book that was already written, when he knew, as a king, he had the capability to change it for the better and live by it. A rule, created by Rama himself would be as respected,if not more, as the rule-book by which he abided.

“Rama would have been the best husband, but not the best of kings. And, he, to save the Dharma and honour of his Raghu-kul, put his and Sita’s emotions behind and acted as a king.” – I think he could’ve been both – him being Rama and the best king and that people looked upto him to make the right judgements – he betrayed the one and only person in life whose life depended on him.

To summarise:
Rama might have been a great king, a wonderful ruler of the “Rama Rajya” but he failed as a husband and had failings like all human beings – Like Monkeymind has commented at Maya’s space:
“There is something to learn from everything and even the greatest or very good human being can teach how to be as well as how not to be!”

# I read this sentence,and I feel its too long, but breaking up the sentence into smaller sentences was’nt giving the same impact according to me-so please excuse the grammar and the length.

Morning Observations – not the kiddy kind

I had written here  about how I observe the kids on the way to work in the morning. I realised, that on some days when the mind is at peace and eyes are not constantly looking at the watch, they also look at other happenings on the streets.

– Women outside the houses putting water and rangoli in front of the houses with their hair tied up and in the nighties. Roadside sweepers cleaning up the paper pieces and leaves that have fallen in front of the Forum Mall through the night.

– Uncles in monkey caps and Aunties in salwaars and sports shoes and scarfs returning from walk.

– A group of elderly people in a park, forming a laughing club and laughing loudly in the quiet of the early morning.

– Milkman keeping a crate of milk outside the shop and the milkvan unloading.

– The different shades of green – of the palak,curry leaves, coriander,chillies, the reds of tomatoes and carrots, purple of the beetroot, white of the raddish – all stacked by a roadside vendor and looking so fresh in the misty morning sun, that I wish I could just stop the car and pick them all up.

– Autos and 2 wheelers carrying all these fresh veggies in gunny bags, transporting them to their smaller shops in various corners of the city.

– Hurried taxi drivers, breaking the morning quiet with their persistent honks and some uncles refusing to budge as they drive back home slowly from which ever park they had gone for their morning walk.

– Office goers in a hurry honking at the over loaded sand lorry as he tries to cut across the road from the right lane to the left just before the signal turns back to red again.

– Bunch of college kids standing at the single table having their first meet before they enter the college at that Upahara Sagara self service hotel.

– That drunken man, continuing to lie there despite all the noise surrounding him.

– The omlet gaadi with stacks of eggs and flasks of Chai which is surrounded by men gobbling up the hot omlets by the minute.

– The billboards that keep changing – of Tanzanite being more expensive than diamond, apartments and gated communities that seem to be springing up in every nook and cranny available making me wonder how many people would actually fall for an advertisement like this and go spend a fortune.

– Morning office goers-some waiting for their company buses with their tags around their necks, some driving and trying to get a bite of breakfast at the signals…

– Some like me, who dont have to concentrate on the road and drive – look around and see how the rest of the town lives its life…

Cooking and Kitchen time

Like my friend OnlySno says, Its a pleasure to cook when you do it once in a while, everyday cooking is just a chore.

I had never had the opportunity to cook for 30 years of my life, barring a few finger counting incidents while the in-laws were away or the cook took the day off at the in-laws place. I will discount the ‘cooking’ I did in the US because it was hardly much and mostly only at times when we invited relatives to come and stay over. My actual cooking started only from when we shifted to our own home. I started off with just the basic rice,rasam,sambar. Chappatis came much later.

Cooking for me is mostly just a chore. Now with Chutku in the picture, I try and ensure that he has 5-6 different veggies every week-1 everday, different subjis, cooked differently to experiment what he might like. During week days I stick to the staple foods of rice and sambhar and curry.Weekends mostly breakfasts are something special that mom will make – like Poori Saagu or Akki Rotti or if its at my own home then I try and make Masala Dosa because Chuktu loves it or cheese/carrot omlette with italian dressing  instead of pepper powder to add taste.

So, mostly I love to cook only when someone comes home for lunch or dinner.  The hubby says that I just loose my mind when I invite anyone home. Also, since I do not have a microwave and dont want to be spending time in the kitchen when the guests actually come home, I try to finish it all before they come. I mostly keep only chappatis at the end. Sweet would generally be kulfi/fruit salad with custard/coconut milkmaid laddoo/ badam or carrot halwa (these are what I have tried so far and know there’s very little that can go wrong with it :-P) – stuff that I can make the previous evening.

Starter would be sprouts,corn,pomogranate,tomato,cheese,apple,cucumber and carrot salad tossed with pepper,lime and salt in a bit of olive oil. This is a standard salad with soup when the main course is pasta. Pasta is the easiest to make with store bought sauce and brinjals and capsicums and order garlic bread from Dominos with custard with fruit salad for dessert is quick and yummy and also sounds exotic enough πŸ˜€

For the typical north indian food options, I stick to chappatis (Since Im not very fond of deep fried food like Pooris) with Dal palak/palak paneer/bhaji (not too different from the regular stuff as Im afraid I would spoil the dish-Im no great cook), pudina-veggie pulao with cucumber/onion/tomato raita,regular rice and rasam and the dessert. Sometimes curdrice with tadka and grapes and pomograte will be added.

On festivals I tend to stick to the traditional subjis with coconut and bajjis and kheer or obbattu (like pooran poli) along with the sambhar and rasam.

Whew! I keep thinking of all the experiments so many of you do with baking and cooking exotic dishes and I think I too need to buy a Convection cum Microwave oven to start baking maybe. But Im so exhausted by the end of the week, that I doubt if I will have the energy to do it over the weekends. In that Im in awe of all the yummy, super looking cakes that Seema  bakes. I think I would only be a great cook- in my dreams!! πŸ˜›

Books on my bedside Table-2

As a New Year gift to ourselves, the hubby and I went and splurged on some books at Blossoms and now very voraciously reading. Here are some that I read recently:

Winners by Danielle Steele – I am a fan of Danielle Steele for a long time.Her english is very simple and I like the way she takes the story forward. Winners is one of her latest about how 17year old who is training for Olympics has an accident and how she overcomes it to live her life to the fullest. There were places where I could relate to some incidents in the book and even had tears in my eyes. But sadly the book is a little too slow for my liking. Some parts of it where the book could be better edited.
My Reccomendation – Read if you like simple writing and can enjoy everyday drama.

Treachery in Death and Calculated in Death – These 2 books are booksΒ  37 and 38 in the In Death Series by J D Robb/ Nora Roberts. Again, being a fan of Nora Roberts, I began to read the In Death series that she writes in the name of JD Robb. The stories are set in the future – 2050 to 2060 and I love the fast pace and mystery behind it. The protagonist is the lady Eve Dallas with her partner Delia Peabody are a part of the NYPD Homicide squad and each book is about how they crack the murder mystery. Packed with action and some bits of romance between Eve and her hubby Roarke, each book is unputdownable to me.
My Reccomendation – DO READ! Atleast one to see if you like it…

Sita by Devdutt Patnaik – Just finished and I am yet to respond to Maya on this one πŸ™‚

More to read:

Ramayana by Ramesh Menon – Its too huge a book and the very size has been putting me off it. Need to start once I finish this Calculated in Death.

Mercy by Jodi Picoult – Liked the excerpt at the back of the book, so picked it up. But I always find Jodi Picoult very emotionally heavy. It tends to leave me drained out and depressed for a few days, so this would probably be the last book I will read in my list.

Elizabeth Nobel’s The Girl Next Door – I think I read a review of this book at TGND and wanted to read it since then.

Indu Sundaresan’s The Mountain of Light – Read Maya’s review and since I enjoyed her Taj Mahal Trilogy, picked this one up though there was no discount anywhere.

The Partisan’s Daughter – A random pick that I did at blossom’s because the name of the book caught my eye. Thought will experiment with a new author I have never heard/read before.

The Woods by Harlan Coben for the husband which Im sure I will read too – a murder mystery about 4 missing teenagers one of whose body is found 20yrs later…

And oh! I also picked up War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy because I think I might have now grown up to read this – no? No?!! Let me see, its one big, fat book and just looking at it makes me think – Ah! Now I have this very popular book that I can showoff and say I read – but honestly – give me my JD Robb or Nicholas Sparks, Sidney Sheldon and I will be a happy girl πŸ™‚

What are you all reading now? Any more reccomendations for me to read?

Friday Fun – Chutku’s sleepy tantrums

The 4 year old is coming more and more into his own. He is more vocal and expressive but also a lot more emotional and turns to be clingy too…

Ever since the hubby went to Germany, he thinks that if we go out – it will be after we put him to sleep. So, he insists that we both go to sleep with him and he refuses to go to sleep even if his eyes are closing shut, throws a tantrum and ensures we both go to sleep with him.

This gets very tricky when one of us has to work from home in the evenings and we end up sleeping sooner than he does if we go and lie-down next to him. Even on days when we are late from work, he stays awake, insists that the lights are switched on until we come home and refuses to sleep.

If we doze off before he does, he shakes us and wakes us, sits up in bed and says “Appa, I dont like sleeping”. What to do then? I sometimes pull him into me and my rug, tell him some story or sometimes we just let him unwind on his own and sleep which takes nothing less than a half hour. Which results in foul mood the next morning.

Come morning, no matter where I am and what Im doing, he needs me to wake him up. If I wake him up, roll around in the bed for 5 mins with him, huggie sleep with him or if he wakes up by himself, comes into the kitchen and I carry him, sing to him- things are smooth. His tantrums begin from the bed if I dont wake him up. It seems like his day needs to begin with me… Which is a pleasure when I think of it like that, but on days when my subji is not done and packing is half done or milk has boiled over -it gets tough to keep the patience and carry him for some time or huggie-sleep until he is ready to get up. Some days are just bad-he decides that I need to give him bath, or he wont do potty! :-O or refuses to brush teeth. We just take a huge breath and try to get some patience before we handle that. Some days we just loose it while some days either one of us gets some brainwave and can handle him with distraction and cajoling. Those days we are invariably late for work. There have been bad parenting days when we have let him go without brushing his teeth. The frequency has considerably reduced now,but I dread that by my putting it here, tomorrow would be bad!!

One on the naughtiness: Like I said, until the hubby returns from work, he doesnt like to sleep, so he refuses to even come upstairs to our home with me and insists he will wait for his dad downstairs at my parents’ place. The other day when I went down to call him for dinner he said come back in 5 mins and I will come up with you, 5 mins later when I went down, he said he wanted to have his dinner downstairs and that he should get his food downstairs only. After confirming that he will eat if I get it down, I closed the door and went up. The minute I went up, he looks at my Dad with a naughty squint in his eyes, giggles and tells my Dad “Thatha, Ammanna oDisibiTTe” and bursts out laughing… *I sent Amma away* which means that he is enjoying the fact that he is making me run up and down while he gets those few extra minutes to play downstairs. My Dad instead of reprimanding him, laughs out loud and tells me proudly that the boy is growing up and he is learning all these tricks! Whew! What is it with Fathers turning into Grand Fathers?

Bucket List and More

Since Im running out of thoughts and want to stop writing only about Chuktu, I decided to peep into all the prompts that Maya has generously given for the Blogathon.

Now what all things would I want to put up in my bucket list? Here are a few that I always had since I was in college and started observing people and how they lived their lives:

1. To get a job that paid well – When I was studying, Dad always showed me women in the family who worked and managed homes equally well. He showed me those that were in good jobs and mentioned that they earned as well as their husbands. He always told me that he wanted me to be independent and not depend on my husband, especially monetorily. – I’ve done that today – Check on the bucket list.

2. Visit onsite on my own VISA for my work – When I got a job, everyone said that I would quit my job and travel with my husband. Nobody in the family actually thought that I would travel abroad for my work – and I did, hubby took the sabbatical and joined me.So now, Im ready to travel the world with him, quitting my job – Check on the bucket list.

3. Own a home/Apartment by the time Im 35 – When Dad’s cousin bought an apartment before he turned 35, Dad mocked me saying I would never be able to do something like that as Im not as brilliant and wont be earning so much… It irked me no end – a lot of my ambitions came from the fact that Dad always ended up comparing me to others and saying I will not achieve what they have at that age. Though I never gave it much thought, things so happened that we now have our own home though we are paying through our noses to pay the loans!

Digression: I realise as I write these, that the 3 above ambitions/bucket list comes from the fact that I maybe somewhere wanted to prove to my Dad that Im as good as anyone else and no less! That might be fodder for another post some day, so let me not digress….

End Digression.

4. Have a baby by the time Im 30 – The powers above have been kind to me on this one. I was expecting Chutku on my 30th birthday and delivered just a couple of months after. *touchwood* – Check on the bucket list.

5. See Switzerland – Which I did on that Europe trip πŸ˜€

6. Learn to drive a car – Finally, got that done too, though I now know that I dont much enjoy driving.

Some more on the bucket list to go:

7. Learn a new foreign language – Like French/German

8. Learn Swimming

9. See more places – Australia/Egypt/New Zealand/Spain

10. Win an award.(Which is too Far fetched maybe, but still).

Last but not the least:

11. Give back to the society in someway – maybe teach in a school? Just giving money for school fees or donations feels like a farce these days, like a cheap escape from actually getting my hands into some good work and helping in the real sense. Im in awe of Swaram for all that she is so passionately doing and I always feel that I just do not have that kind of guts to do it.

These are the things that I could think of as I sit here past 7pm waiting for the hubby to go home. Might end up doing a whole new list sometime again for all you know!!

So what are the things on your bucket list?