Chutku’s 5th Birthday Letter

My Darling Chutku,

Shall I begin to start addressing you here as little boy? Or little monster? Those names seem to suit you much better than Chutku – because, that, you no longer are. Like you yourself claim, you have become a big boy now, coming all the way above my waist. Anyone who sees you,
asks how old you are and exclaim about your height.

You, my little one, have grown. Not just in height but in your mind too.Like your Ammamma/thatha always said – you realise the child is growing up when he gets bad behaviour!

And how! You know just where and when to throw tantrums, how to get your way and how to back answer too! It infuriates me when you back answer and I scream back at you, only realising much later that I could have handled it better with a wee bit of patience. Sadly – I loose my
mind with you. A lot of times when the day ends and you are sleeping peacefully next to me, I regret the fight we would’ve had and think I should handle it better the next time.Anyway Im sure, there are plenty more next times to come!

There, that was the first thing on my mind. Lets talk about more nicer stuff – Im surprised by your clarity of thoughts and your actions. Suddenly in a PTM your teacher says-he is one of the more mature kids in the class and then the next PTM the same teacher says that you are very naughty and you even cause fights in the class! So what am I supposed to hold on to? I take both with a pinch of salt. You are growing up with your own thought processes and
influences, no matter how much I try to control the environment, its not always possible. So I just learn to let-go.

There are times, when you get your home work done in a jiffy and then there are days when Im ready to pull out the hair on my head trying to get you to finish 3 lines of the letter ‘j’!! One thing that is always for certain though – your 13847596067 questions, your non-stop
chatter and your unbridled energy. My God! Even past 11pm, when your Dad and I are just waiting to drop off to sleep, you sit up in bed and ask questions or you want to get out of bed and play! These days, I even let you do it. You are very sensitive and have amazing observation powers! Every little thing comes to your notice and more than my screaming you are affected by my sad face. I love it that you care-care for that little butterfly that is not able to fly out of the home or about that little ant crossing the road-that you scream – Amma,
dont stamp that ant! You are most happiest when there are people around you and Im proud that you can engage any one of them in a conversation and I have noticed, that people do respond to you-even as their expression is one of surprise that you are so confidently talking to them 😀

You are still afraid of the dark, especially after watching Chota Bheem and Little Krishna. You prefer to “huggie Sleep” with me or your Dad especially on those nights when you are afraid. You still want to be woken up by me,carried around and you LOVE to be pampered 😀 It hurts you when we refuse to make you sit on our laps or we refuse to give you that hug. You continue to be possessive about us and hate it when we talk to little R on skype or carry little S or even call them by any pet names. Forget carry any other baby 🙂 There- there still seems to be some amount of innocence and baby-ness left in you which I still cherish…

I can feel you growing up in more ways than one. Im going to start calling you the little monster (LM) from now on in this space, because I really dont think you are Chutku anymore 🙂

May your quest for more answers continue and let nothing stop you from getting those answers, Baby.

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Anticipating 2015

If 2014 picked up pace mid-year, 2015 promises to start with a sprint.
 
Home and Hearth – The husband has finally travelled to the USofA on a long term assignment, and Im trying to wrap up stuff here so we can join him as soon as summer sets in there. That would be April-May and Chutku would’ve finished his school year here. Lots to work on the
“Wrapping up” though. I still dont know what to take, what to pack, what to sell and if its even worth a cargo or not. The husband is yet to move to the house where we would be staying and until that happens everything here has to wait. I’ve partially shifted in with my parents and we try to work out the daily stuff as each day goes by.

Work-wise – As a resolution last year, I had written “concentrate on career – I need to stop looking back at what I left behind when I moved from mainstream delivery to support. Its been 2 yrs now, I need to take stock of situation and see how I can grow from where I am today.
Baby steps have been initiated and I hope to get to a better place by my standards, atleast by the end of the year.”

Well – I guess it paid off! I was a part of the key team in July where only 8 people from the organisation were chosen and since October I have been handling an entire unit by myself. I would say it was one resolution that worked. I dont know what to look forward to in this area with all the impending changes.

Health-wise – The weighty-matters continue and I have not done much about it. I did start with the Julia Michaels 20min shred for nearly a month and then gave up mostly because I got bored of exercising alone. Havent really put on much weight but havent lost anything either. So its just stagnated there. Only small change is that I have begun to drink green tea twice daily and try not to eat oily/sweet stuff/chocolates daily 😦 Though sometimes the craving is just so much that I give in 😦 The idea of going to the gym continues atleast to make use of the gymwear I bought after spending a small fortune! Lets see where that goes.

On the creative side – There was nothing I did last year except again the customery Chutku birthday t-shirt of Chip and Dale and I painted one more for a close friend’s son – Thomas the train. With so much happening everyday, I hardly got time to think of any such creativity and struggled to atleast maintain some 15mins of me-time to read before bed. So, this year Im
looking forward to some time on hands where I can get to do something more creative. Hoping that this move to new country and new house would bring in some enthusiasm combined with the
fact that I might not be working for atleast a few months to DO something instead of just planning and thinking.

Plenty to look forward to in 2015 and plenty of apprehensions come along with it too.

So what are all of you looking forward to in 2015?

2014- In Retrospect

Where did the year just vanish?! It has been a whirlwind year with so many things happening sometimes and then suddenly nothing at all happening at other times.

Best and sweetest news of the year was that I became an “Atthe”! I now have a cute little niece 😀 and Im trying to teach her to say “atthe” on Facetime 😛

The parents travelled to UK for 3 months to help Brother-SIL with the new born from July to September which was the most busiest part of the year. I had the Org level reassessment/Husband travelled to Pune every week and the in-laws pitched in by staying with me to help me with Chutku’s school and schedule.

Being chosen to be a  part of the Organisation reassessment which was a career high for me. Really happy that the team has noticed my contribution within 2 years of moving here.

Managing Home – office -home and the travelling that comes with it, without the husband, wasnt easy, but has now given me the confidence that I can do it – thats an ego-booster to me!

In between all the confusions of husband and parents travelling, we managed quite a few fun trips as well. Planning and executing these trips not only kept me busy but also gave me lots of positive energy rather than get bogged down by everything else.

Like always, *Touchwood* friends and family have been around for me to vent and care for me -always a phone call away to hear me out and give me strength, pulled me up before I realised I
was going down – just by being there. I have much to thank God for, in that department.

By the end of the year, the husband has already travelled, Im making plans and arrangements to travel too and things seem to continue at a fast pace and would maybe continue to be until mid
year this year.

So, how has the year been for all of you?

 

How I Ushered the New Year…

Like every year, this year too there was a 31st night party organised by the elders in the family. Sadly, since most of the cousins have travelled to other shores-Australia and the USA, including the Dear hubby, the crowd was dismal. Since Im still here in namma bengaluru with Chutku, I decided it would be really bad and sad if I didnt attend it either.

So last evening, came home from work, mom fed Chuktu his dinner and I made him wear the new clothes I had bought just the day before – I have this small tradition for myself-I always bring in the new year in new clothes, so I obviously need to do the same for Chuktu :-), and waited for FIL to come pick us up. There was one other young cousin, who made all the necessary Skype and Facetime calls around the world and then promptly left to party with his friends. So at the end, it was just 7 elders,me and Chuktu.

But guess what? The fun never diminished a single bit! We played Antakshari for nearly 2hrs and it was SOOOO MUCH FUN! Since I was the youngest, they made me dance too and gave Chuktu chance to sing and dance, played lovely old melodies in tribute of the movie stars who passed away last year, the older couples also danced, because I didnt have my big partner, I danced with my little partner 🙂 – It was just the same amount of fun. Food was amazing too.

Today morning one of the aunts sends a message that Chutku and I were the Jaan of the party and they all enjoyed because of us. Along with all the fun last night, we have also been heartily blessed. In the morning, we woke up late and Mom has taken care of the cooking. Just woke up from an aftenoon nap and the little fellow is peacefully playing by himself right now on the bed, as I type this.What more to ask for?

Oh yeah! I also grabbed a sho of PK with a friend on 31st December. So the year ended with a bang and the new one has begun just as I visualise it – lazy and relaxed 😀

How did you bring in your new year?

Happy New Year-2015!

Happy New Year!!
Happy New Year!!
Wishing all the readers – 1 atleast? A very very happy, healthy new year!

So, its been like I just vanished into thin air after last year’s blogathon. So much has happened that I could’ve blogged about, so much has not happened that I could crib about here too. But I guess I was just very lazy and in my own cocoon the last year to be putting down the happenings here.

For the friends from the blog world who made an attempt to keep in touch with me – RM,Maya,Seema – thank you! If not for you, I would not have wanted to come back. Seema – I hope to live up to the expectations!!
Congratulations for all the wonderful things that have happened to each one of you over the last 11 months and All the very best to the year ahead!

Blogathon 2015 – Bring it on!

NOTE: Like I already mentioned, I HAVE been in my own cocoon and most of the posts would only be personal than discussions. Will try to think of more social stuff as the days progress – but read at your own “BORING” risk 🙂

Office Office

Do you remember there used to be a comedy serial like this? Well, if office can give fodder to an entire serial,I think it can definitely give me some fodder for a post!

Onsite travel is something most software engineers dream of as soon as they get their job offers.Likewise, I do have a lot of collegues who are all set and eagerly waiting for such opportunities. No, for that, I have no problem at all. I too have had such an opportunity and have learnt immensely from the experience. What bothers me is something entirely different.

The politics behind it. I have seen this happening in the other organisations and I see a lot of it happening around me here too. Thank God! Im not in any contention for any onsite travels, so I guess Im spared, and I try to stay away from it all too.

Someone I know always wanted an onsite oppotunity and got her papers ready-good for her. She found a guy who is also working abroad and got married recently – again, very good for her. She didnt want to quit as she already had the papers to work abroad – that actually makes sense for someone who is serious about their own career. I appreciate the fact that she just didnt give up everything and was ready to travel as her husband’s dependent like most people assumed she would. So, now she has been fighting to go onsite. She has had multiple discussions with the necessary bosses to ensure she gets her chance at the earliest. I actually have no issues with that-I have realised that in most corporate worlds, if we dont speak up for what we want-we just get pushed down to the bottom of the list-be it promotions/hikes/opportunities anything.

What actually bugs me – is the fact that she goes around telling that she is better than most other people who have got a chance to travel onsite before her. Saying that all they did was a presentation or a documentation or attended a meeting which anyone could’ve done. I understand her urgency to want to go abroad, her need for it, but that doesnt mean everyone else who has gone onsite is not upto the mark. That everyone else didnt do anything except walked up to the boss and asked to go onsite?!! Really? Is that all that’s required to go onsite on an assignment? There is something like a job description for every role and just anybody cannot be sent to such a role where the company’s name is at stake.

Now, she might get a chance to go sometime this year but someone else who has already gone there for the same job,is not very keen on wanting her there – reason – she is newly married and her hubby is in another city across the country and so she might not give it her best at the job but would want to take leaves and spend more time with him, thereby the pressure of completing the work would fall on this guy. That too, I feel is bad-how can anyone just come to a conclusion that someone wont work because they are newly married? Will the same rule apply to the man as well? Isnt that being a bias too?

So many of us, trying to get another job, so many of us currently fighting to atleast get a better hike, so many of us trying to push for promotion – All in a day’s work, I guess.

Happy Makara Sankranthi

Happy Makara Sankranthi to everyone. Like the last 3years, we did bhogi to Chutku last evening where we put yeLLu bella (til and jaggery) with cut pieces of sugarcane on his head and do a ‘Nazar Utaarna’ for him. Its a custom that I guess symbolises prosperity and good health for all his life.
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My Dad putting the mixture on his head.

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Batting away all the coins and otherstuff falling on his head.

Im glad he enjoyed the whole thing.

Today morning, i hurriedly prepared both sweet and khara pongal, did a quick pooja and gave the sweet mixture of yeLLu bella, sugarcane, banana and  sakkare acchu to mom-atleast managed to give it to one person!! Before rushing to work.

So hows all your day going?

The Cochin Trip

This is my second post for today since I couldn’t post anything yesterday. For posterity, I will log this trip that the hubby and I took without the little one over the weekend.

Like I mentioned in a previous post, Hubby’s friend at work was getting married. Obviously, I know her too, so when we got the invite for her wedding in Cochin we decided to take a couple of days off and attend it. As the days progressed, we realized we couldn’t make a holiday out of this trip since we had work related issues – no leaves, lot of work etc; Hubby then told her that we wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding when she mentioned that the wedding was at a resort in Cochin and she had already booked the hotel rooms for all her guests-which included us! We felt really bad about that, spoke to the parents if they could take care of Chutku for the weekend so we could make a quick visit.

As soon as my parents agreed, we confirmed to her that we would be attending but wouldn’t be able to stay for long on sunday as we had to drive back the same day. She then told us that there was a party that she was hosting at the venue the previous evening and she would be happy if we could attend just that atleast.

So on Saturday, we started at 5:45am, joined by hubby’s friend and family and his ex-boss. At about 8:30am we reached Dharmapuri and stopped for an awesome, quick Idly-Vada breakfast from where I took the wheel. My first high-way driving and I had fun :-D. For about 2.5hrs and 100-120kms stretch.

Hubby’s boss and his friend’s wife (who was at the wheel of their car) both complimented that for someone who had begun to drive only 6 months back, I drove very well.That was my high for the whole trip 🙂 We reached Palakkad by 1:45pm and stopped at hubby’s friend’s home (his parents stay there)for lunch. We had awesome heavy lunch where his mom had taken so much care cooking and ensuring that there was no coconut oil in any of the veggie food, fish for the boss – everything! We ended up spending an hour and half at their place and only started to Cochin at 3:30pm.

A half hour into the drive and we got stuck in a bad traffic jam – something my Kerala friend had warned me about. What should’ve been a 3-3.5hrs drive took us 5hrs. We reached the venue at 8:30pm!

Tired and hungry and frustrated. Some running around to figure out the rooms until the bride herself had to come and ensure we all had rooms. She even told us that the party was about to end and that we needed to hurry! :-O All thoughts of resting and then ‘getting dressed’ (I had taken saree and makeup and everything else thinking I would have time to get dressed since Chutku was not around!) vanished while we quickly got ready and went to the party at 9pm. The fun then began… There was karoke, good red wine, good food, dancing…A glass of wine on an empty stomach made me a little unwound I think! The bride asked Hubby to sing Karoke and as he started with Pehla Nasha she pulled me on the stage to join him. I sang, sang karoke and did it horribly. When I listened to the recording I realised I had taken a pitch far lesser than the one hubby had started with and so it sounded horrendous. But still, I went up there on stage and sang, while my office friend (who does wedding candid photography and was invited to capture the wedding),hubby’s friend and boss watched – people I would meet in office again!:-O  We then had dinner while the dance music played. The bride again pulled all of us onto the grass -(Oh! Did I mention that this party was outdoors near the waterfront?) and we danced to hookah bar and lungi dance and fevicol se!! :-O Jeez… just thinking about these songs are making me feel creepy now, but then, when everyone was dancing it really didnt matter. The hubby and his friend danced like crazy-his wife and I thought they were too drunk! By the time the party wound-up it was past 11pm.

While everyone retired to  the rooms, hubby and I took a walk around the place. There was another wedding that evening at another lawn near the jetty at the same hotel which had all these white fairy lights and balls of light hanging from the tree branches, the round tables decorated with small tealights and white and peach roses, the jetty littered with confetti that was used to welcome that couple, the cool breeze off the waters and moon playing hide and seek with the clouds. PEACEFUL 15 mins walk. It actually relaxed us enough to feel sleepy and the fatigue of the long drive caught up with us by midnight.

The next morning was lazy too…Lazy enough that I decided to take a bubble bath JUST because there was a bubble bath soap and a tub… I need to add this to the *why me* series. I happily filled up a tub of water (sin, i now understand) and bubbles and as I got in felt that the water was a little hot.In about 5 mins the water began to irritate my skin and I ended up with red rashes! 😦 I never got to relax the way I imagined 😦 I quickly washed my skin with my own soap and applied double dose of moisturiser to soothen my skin. I wonder if it was the hot water and the soap or any one of them that my skin had to react that way. Anyway, since the hubby was still asleep I went for a short walk and realised that Breakfast was already being served. Came back woke everyone up (friends and boss too) asked them to hurry as there was a big crowd. Post breakfast, we spent sometime relaxing and walking around at the wedding venue that was getting decorated.Went back to the room, packed everything, wore saree and got ready for the 1/2 hr of wedding we were supposed to attend at 12noon. We had decided to leave by latest 1pm so we could reach Bangalore and home by midnight at least. So, we waited until the “mangalya dharaNa” happened and at 12:45 got back to the room to quickly change into travel clothes and checkout.

We were in the car and highway by 1:15pm and from there it was another long journey back. Thankfully, there wasnt any traffic or traffic jams on the way and reached home by 10:55pm with just1-15mins break post Coimbatore and 1-1/2hr break for dinner at 8. Chutku was waiting for us without sleeping as we had told him we would return. By the time we calmed him down and we all slept it was way past midnight again.

Whew! I have now decided no more such “quick” weekend trips. I was so exhausted and could feel my bottom expanding with all that sitting in the car!

2 new rules for our trips from now on:

a. Chutku comes with us on all trips – short/long/quick – we miss him and he misses us like crazy.
b. Long drives to far off cities for just a weekend-banned – we will look at other options like overnight buses or trains.

A Very Long Day today…

Been a very long day today with full of meetings and lots of work otherwise. Being a thursday I decided to manage the day with just fruits and milk and now my head is hurting now.

The husband has been having a boil on his lowerlip for nearly 4 weeks now which we thought was a heat boil all these days and finally when it refused to respond to medication, came to a skin specialist. Unfortunately it turned out to be something bigger and he is currently in casualty undergoing some cauterisation procedure under local anesthesia and im waiting for it to end so i can take him back home.

Updated 15mins later: Ah! Finally… Its done and looks like all is well. I just hope he gets back to normal soon…we have a quick trip to cochin over the weekend too to attend his friend’s wedding….

I am unable to write anything else right now… Need to go pay the hospital fees now. You all have a good night people… Stay safe and mostly stay healthy…