Thank you Teachers

Image5th September is celebrated as Teacher’s day in India. The first memory that comes to me on Sept 5 is of the Teacher’s day 13 years ago, when I was in 12th standard. In our school Teacher’s day was celebrated every year in a special way. The 12th grade students played the role of teachers for that one day. Each student will play one teacher and he/she would teach the subject and class of the respective teacher. At the end of the day there would be a function honoring the teachers and the student who took the role of a particular teacher would give that teacher a red rose. This happened every year and when we reached 12th standard, all my classmates were very excited about it. Girls have to wear sari, it was the first time most of us would be wearing a sari, so excitement was more among the girls.  By mid August our class monitor gave the list of students with the Teacher’s name each student wanted to become that one day, to the class teacher. Best of Mom’s saris were selected, blouses altered and who will wear what was the only talk those days. But later the excitement gave way to anxiety when even on 3rd September we did not get the final student-teacher list from our Teacher. Finally on 4th we were told that, that year our school would not be celebrating teacher’s day. The Teachers decided to not celebrate to protest against some policies and to demand action on some issues . We were heartbroken. On 5th September that year we went to school as usual in our uniforms. But we all were upset and decided to boycott the classes. All the students stood on the corridor refusing to enter the class. Teachers tried to convince us to enter, but we did not budge. They explained to us why they were protesting. All this while I was not feeling that we were doing the right thing. I thought we were being selfish. In our excitement to dress up as Teachers and the disappointment to be stopped in the last minute, we forgot that teacher’s day was to honour teachers. So by boycotting the class and disputing their decision, we were actually dishonoring them. It is their day not ours. It is the day we should show them our respect and gratitude. I convinced my friends that it was a bad idea to oppose teachers on teacher’s day instead of Thanking them. One by one my classmates understood my logic and went back to class and apologized to the teachers. But the students in the other section got irritated, they too had to go back to class but many of them were angry with me for days for ditching them in their protest. I was seen as a traitor by them. But I felt I was right and even now when I think of it I feel I was right. What do you think ?

So on this Teacher’s Day, let me pay a tribute to Seven of my favourite teachers.

1. Kunhikannan sir – he was my science teacher in the 7th & 8th std. He was everyone’s favourite. His teaching style was like that of Ram Shankar Nikumbh’s (Aamir Khan )teaching style in Taare Zamen Par. He would not read out from texts or dictate notes but made learning science fun through day to day examples and funny anecdotes. If we hear a whole class laughing, we knew Kunhikannan sir was taking the class. He never scolded or punished any student, of course there was no need to, because even the worst student found his class interesting and everyone scored above 90 in his class. He is a good singer too and often sang songs on student’s requests.teacher

2. Bhargavi mam- she taught me English in 7th and 8th std. She was the one who brought me out of my shell and made me participate in recitation, debate and group dance competitions. Coincidentally she was my house master too for 5 yrs.  She always gave me that extra push that I required to participated in all extra curricular activities. She believed in me.

3. Babootty sir. he was my Maths teacher in 9th and 10th std. While I was okay in Mathematics till 7th grade, a particular Ms. S, my Maths teacher in 8th std, made maths a nightmare for me. I started failing class tests in maths and in final exams just passed with 35% marks. But in 9th std, Mr.Babootty made me love maths again. The way he taught made all the complicated problems very simple. I scored above 80% in maths in 9th and 10th std, all thanks to him.

4. George sir- my English teacher- in 9th and 10th standard. He made learning English fun with role paly and other activities. He too encouraged me to participate in essay writing and elocution competitions.

5. Sushma mam- my English teacher in 11th and 12th std.  Every student in school was afraid of her. She had the reputation to be the strictest teacher in school. When we reached 11th std all were scared to be in her class. But I found her to be sweet 🙂 Yes she very strict but only with those who misbehaved in class. I admired her way of teaching and for some time I wanted to be a teacher to be like her. I had written her name as the teacher I wanted to play on teacher’s day celebration 🙂 She made me act in a play for the first time ( and that was the last time too ) in my life, for the school annual day. The title of the play was “The pie and the tart”  🙂

6. Bindu mam- my Biology teacher in 9th,10th,11th & 12th. I loved her for her sweet personality. Me and my friends used to bring specimens of plants belonging to the specific plant kingdom that was taught in the class to impress her. Why we did not think to do the same when animal kingdom was taught is something that puzzles me now 🙂

7. Beena mam- Economics was not my cup of tea. But Beena mam made Business Economics class interesting during my MBA. She engaged the class in active discussions and made us up to date with the economic scenarios. Her class was very interactive.

Thanks to you all my dear teachers, for the knowledge, support and guidance you have given me and the trust you had in me.

You might have noticed most of my favourite teachers are English teachers. Was it my love for English that made me love these teachers or these teachers who made me love English is something I have yet to figure out 🙂

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 1st-7th September 2013.

Advertisements

Hips don’t lie, neither do scales!!

fatRecently everyone around – my friends, neighbors, relatives and colleagues are complementing me on how I have slimmed down.

But my weighing scales don’t agree, it doesn’t show even a gram less than what it showed few months ago. Liar !!

What if I don’t exercise, what if I live to eat, what if my hips look as it looked few months ago, in the mirror. To hell with the scales and the mirrors, if people say I have slimmed down, I should have!liar

My reactions to this complement of  “Oh you have slimmed down so much!” changed from denial “Really? I don’t think so.” to “Really, do you think so ?” to a smile to “I have na!” to self pity “poor me! the work pressure at office, house work and a running toddler, you see you don’t have to control food or exercise to slim down”

So, I was floating in the clouds, until last evening, D, a third standard student, whom I help with his Hindi lessons, grounded me. I was giving him test – word meanings. The word ‘Sadhu‘ came. He couldn’t remember the meaning. The meaning in the context of the chapter was ‘a good person ‘.shocked

So to help him remember the meaning I gave him a clue, “D, someone like me”

He gave a big smile and yelled ” yeah! got it aunteeeee! Sadhu means fat person”

Someone in the other room burst into laughter.

Husband’s property

This happened today, at my office.

My male colleague E, “Seena madam, you have become stylish nowadays”

I, with a smile “aanno? ” (Is it so?)

E, “new dresses, hair style, glasses and all. Suits you well.”

Another male colleague RS, “Hey, what is this man. She is a married lady. You are talking nonsense to a family girl. What will her husband think if he hears that, he might slap you”

Excuse me! Am I my husband’s property? A male colleague cannot compliment a female colleague if she is married ? Does he have to take the husband’s permission for that?

I was irritated and gave him a piece of my mind.

Actually he has been getting a piece of my mind every now and then.

When I was pregnant, the same RS had told me that he had prayed in the temple, for me to conceive, as I have been married for more than 2 years and it is because of him that I got pregnant ! 😯

Excuse me! Who are you (or anyone else for that matter) to decide when should I get pregnant.  It is something I and my husband should decide together. If we have decided not to have kids until we are ready to take the responsibility, why should anyone else be bothered about it. When I have never discussed or even remotely mentioned to  you or any of my colleagues on my plans to have or not to have a child, who gave you the right to assume that I badly wanted a child and pray for me in the temple ?

Even after getting an earful from me that day, he did not hesitate to tell me, when I was about to go on maternity leave, that he had prayed at the temple for me, to have a baby boy.

What the …. ! Who is he to decide I  should have a boy or a girl ? Why should he interfere in my personal affairs ? Why the preference for boy?

Now, who deserves the slap from my husband?

RS, believes that a colleague with whom I am friendly with should not pass compliments to a married family lady without the husband’s permission . At the same time a colleague, with whom I don’t even share a cordial relation and never ever discuss my personal affairs, can pray for me to conceive and then have a baby boy. He not only feels there is nothing wrong in it but also feels proud of it to brag about it.

Why ? Obviously, the social conditioning he has got from the patriarchic society he was brought up in. The social conditioning that did not tone down even after being educated, holding both a BE and an MBA degree and working in a professional environment as an Engineer for nearly ten years.

A social conditioning that teaches that a woman and her beauty is only husband’s property. A social conditioning that teaches that a woman’s duty is to get married and within a year give birth to a boy. Any other male complementing the woman is violating the husband’s property rights. Any other male praying for the woman to conceive and giving birth to a male child is being a well wisher to the couple.

It  was just after the above incident that I read this at IHM’s blog.  Isn’t the same social conditioning, mentioned above, the reason for an woman’s honor  to be linked with her status of being married. Rape becomes nothing to do with the woman’s mental and physical trauma, but everything to do with losing  honor and becoming unfit for marriage. Marriage becomes nothing about love and mutual respect but everything about the woman’s honor and status in the society.

Baby Sitting – Woes to Bliss (Part II)

Continuation of Baby Sitting – Woes to Bliss (Part I)

We met Patti Amma. This time our antennas were up. We tried our best to get to know her well. We were convinced enough to try. The location was an issue. Her flat was little off the route and 15-20 minutes walking distance from our Villa. I convinced my cab drivers to help me, but on the evenings when they have tight schedule, I would be dropped only till the Baby sitter’s place. I and my husband decided to meet at the place, pick him and walk to our Villa, on those evenings. Anything was fine as long as Babs was in safe hands.
babysitting-kangaroo-animals-birds-pelican-3093First week, he cried when I left and when I went to pick him. But I felt he was comfortable with her. By the second week he stopped crying, though he looked sad and was reluctant to let me off. I could see the change in him. He had connected with her. He was of course not happy to leave me but yet was not unhappy with her.
Opposed to the first Baby sitter’s view, Patti Amma told me that Babs was an easy child, any baby sitter’s dream child. He stopped crying as soon as I was out of view. When he wanted, he ate and drank without any fuss. He happily let her bathe him and groom him. He befriended other kids there easily but was shy and scared of outsiders. He would cling to Patti Amma on seeing any outsider. I was happy to see how he became everyone’s favourite at her house. On evenings when I went to pick him, I could see through the door left ajar, Babs sitting in Patti Amma’s lap and Patti Amma singing a Tamil Rhyme, Babs making sounds in tune with her and tapping his little fingers on her cheeks.
We were happy and relieved.
Patti Amma was planning to go on a vacation in December. Other kid’s parents were also fine with the vacation schedule. I too applied for leave and the request was accepted. But then we got a blow, when my husband’s leave application was rejected as his colleague was going on vacation at the same time.
Now we had to look for a new Baby sitter. We were really worried how it would affect our baby, to be left with a new person again.
Luckily for us, there was this couple who had moved to our villa in November. Their son was doing graduation in Kerala, the husband was working and the lady, S was a homemaker. Being in the same villa, we met her often in the evenings and between conversations came to know that she had Baby-sat a 3 months old kid till he was 3 yrs old. She had also expressed interest to baby- sit as she was idle at home and felt lonely. She is a sweet and cheerful lady. Babs was also familiar with her. So we requested her to baby sit him for 3 weeks and she happily agreed. Surprisingly Babs connected with her very fast. He cried only the first 2 days and from the third day he happily went to her arms. He seemed to very happy with her.
Then we went for the month long vacation . After coming back we were in a Dilemma. Both Patti Amma and S were good and loved our baby. Finally we decided to send him to S, because he seemed happy with her and being in the same villa and seeing familiar kids and people around, he never felt he was in strange place or away from home. We wouldn’t have the transportation issue also. There was no bus to Patti Amma’s place from my office and also from her place to our Villa. Getting a taxi to her place was easy but from her place to our villa was difficult. Where as there was a direct bus from near  my company to our villa. So I need not worry about dropping and picking up my baby even on days when I don’t get my company cab.

But our woes didn’t end there. On the fourth day after Babs was back  with S, S had to rush to Kerala as her mother had fallen and in the ICU. For 3 days, my BIL who was staying with us, did the Baby sitting job. Despite being a bachelor in his twenties and no experience with small kids, he did a great job. But then the sad news of S’s mother’s demise came. S would be back only after a week. BIL had come here on Visit visa, for job search and he had to attend interviews.
So once again I sought Patti Amma’s help. She was happy to care for Babs for one week. Babs hadn’t seen her for nearly two months now and so he again took time to connect with her. For me and Raj too it was a tiring week because that whole week I did not get transportation from my company, as the cabs were busy with deliveries at project sites.

After a week S came back and from then on she is baby sitting my son again.
Curious to know how he is doing ?416-daycare-cartoons

– as mentioned in the first post  , he is eager to reach there in the morning.
– in the evening he is excited to see me but not in a hurry to leave.
– one night, he spilled water on his night dress and when I removed his dress and was fetching another dress for him, he snatched a dress from the cupboard and in his language asked me to dress him up. He gave the socks to his dad and showed his foot indicating he wanted to wear it. Then he slid down from my arms and took his bag in the table and said ta-ta hurriedly to dad and pulled me, pointing towards the door. From his actions, it was clear that he thought it was morning already and was eager to go to his Aunty’s place.
– one night we were just having a walk outside the room. S also was there and he went to S arms and then he was not coming back to me at all, instead he was asking S to take him to her room.
Then S said ” go to your amma dear, its night, your sleeping time, I am only your vallarthamma, I can’t keep you with me at night, she is your pettamma who will be there with you always.”

Am I upset that my baby is happy to be with his Baby sitter ? No definitely not . I am happy and relieved, because now he is not just with a baby sitter but with another Amma, who loves and cares for him . Am just praying that the bliss continues.

PS : Vallarthamma – Foster mother. Pettamma – Biological Mother

Baby Sitting – Woes to Bliss (Part I)

My little boy gets up in the morning and as soon as I change his diaper and clothes he says ‘ta-ta ‘ and points to the door. He wants to carry the bag with his dabba (snack box) and dress himself. Once I open the door, he points and pushes me till he reaches his Aunty’s house. He happily goes into his Aunty’s arms and says ta-ta to me and eagerly looks around for Uncle. I smile and walk back to our room.

Last April I returned to Dubai after my 7 months long sabbatical, with my 4 months old baby. My Amma came along with me to stay for three months and help me with the baby. I rejoined my work the next day.

For three months things were fine. Babs was with his Ammama and I had nothing to worry. But as the time neared for Amma to return back to India, we all were worried. The search for a baby sitter started.babysitting

We could not afford a maid, so the options left were Day cares or Baby Sitter. Location was one major issue in our search for Day care/Baby sitter, as we do not own a car. We had to look for a place near our home or my office or somewhere in the route between my home and office, so that my office cab would not mind me dropping and picking my baby on the way.

I was not much sure about Day cares. The stories I heard about  Day cares such as that the kids are given cough syrups and put to sleep whole day, was not encouraging. We could not get any recommendations from any of our contacts, Google was our only guide. Online research and phone calls followed. Our options were limited – Few do not take babies below 1 year, few were off on Saturdays, few cases the timings were not ok, few were highly unaffordable.

Finally we found a Baby sitter, the week before Amma left. We visited her flat which was 15 minutes walking distance from my office. Her sweet talk and behaviour somehow convinced us that she was the right person.bs

But that turned out to be a horrible mistake. At that time Babs was 7 months old and still on milk and purees, he had just started crawling and could not stand without support.  My baby cried a lot every time I left him there and went to pick him. I went in the afternoons to feed him.  He was suddenly left at a new place with strangers, he would take time, things will be ok in few days, I thought. Two more weeks, there was no change and she had lots of complaints. She said he was a difficult child, fussy eater, not mingling with anyone. I told her not to force feed, I don’t force feed him. Let him have what he wants. But she kept comparing him with other kids and complaining. I was depressed. Didn’t know what to do. Was she no good or was the problem with my child ? Should I give them some more time ? Nearly a month and still I couldn’t see any attachment develop between them.

Then one day she called and said that Babs had fallen and bleeding from his nose. I rushed to her flat. He was sitting in a corner crying. I picked him up and he immediately clung to me and stopped crying. I checked his nose, bleeding had stopped. His dress had few drops of blood and there was little blood in his hanky. She was panicking and asking me to rush him to hospital immediately. I calmed her down and asked her what happened. She said he was sitting on the floor and falling asleep, she tried picking him up to put him on bed, but he would not allow her to touch him, he would cry when she went near him. So he dosed off sitting and hit his nose on the floor.

I took him home immediately and decided to not send him there again. Kids fall, bleeding happens, it sometimes happens even when you are most careful. I do not blame her of carelessness but I was disappointed the way she panicked and reacted after that. I could not understand why she was not able to pick up a sleepy child and put him to sleep. Why she could not connect with him even after so many days ?

But what knocked the daylights out of me was her call in the evening, “What can I do, he doesn’t allow me to pick him. I thought he was afraid because he was not familiar with us and so we all moved to other room and closed the door . Even then he cried. He is a difficult child, you better quit the job and take him with you back home. I tried my best but your son has some problem ”

What the hell! You don’t move out  and close the door leaving a crying child alone in the room, in an unfamiliar place. She thought she was doing her best taking care of the child by leaving him alone crying? It was completely my mistake. I cannot still come out of the guilt of trusting my baby with someone like her . Even now the image of my baby crying in a corner of the room all alone breaks my heart to pieces.

I took off for some days . Had no clue what to do. How can I trust a new baby sitter ? How will I find one ? Then one of  my husband’s acquaintances told him about a middle aged lady in the building next to his, who was taking care of kids for a very long time. They personally knew her and the parents of two kids going there. They assured us that  we can trust our baby with her.

Continued on  : Baby Sitting – Woes to Bliss (Part II)

Flying with the toddler…

Babs boarded his first flight when he was 5 months old. I say, he is so lucky, I boarded my first flight when I was 25 yrs old, till then aero plane for me was the small dot we see with amazement, moving high above in the sky.

On his first flight Babs was mostly asleep. He cried only when hungry and slept off on being fed. He was only breastfed at that time, hence had to carry only wipes, diapers and an extra dress in my hand bag. But this time I had to be prepared. Now, he being a 14 months old , hyperactive toddler, and having witnessed non stop crying babies in the flights earlier, we carefully planned our trip.

We booked our tickets from Dubai to Calicut, keeping our toddler’s nap time in mind. We booked the early morning (3.30 am ) flight. That would mean we have to report the Airport at 12.30 am, which would mean Babs would be fast asleep on our shoulders throughout the security check and boarding process and in the flight. If we had taken the 1.00 am flight, we usually take, we have to report the airport at 10.00 pm, means Babs would be too excited seeing us preparing to leave and would not sleep at all and it would be difficult to manage him. For the same reason we decided against morning flights. We would land at IST 9.00 am at the Calicut Airport, means Babs can have his morning bottle of milk on the flight itself and would be asleep during the checking out process and would enjoy the sights from the taxi. Be will be home by noon, he can have lunch and sleep. Perfect planning.

But the toddler had other plans. As I mentioned in my previous post, Babs had caught fever which was high the day before the flight. So on 8th, 9th and till 10th evening he was asleep or lying down inactive most of the time. By evening medicines took effect. He regained his energy. I tried to put him to sleep many times before leaving for the airport, but he would not sleep. Finally we had to carry a widely awake and excited Babs to the airport. He has not yet started walking by himself. But he wanted to get down. He would  crawl all over the airport.1 And he is Usain Bolt when it comes to crawling. We would easily loose him in the airport. He wanted to lay his hand on every thing and everyone he saw around. Only way to control him was to show any other kid in the airport, then he would be smiling ear to ear to the kid for next 5 mins. He kept calling everyone “eyy” and was blabbering non-stop to the attendants. Thankfully he wasn’t crying and so people around were actually amused. All were instantly taken by the sweet smile that he gave away without any hesistation.

Emirates Airlines too had plans to keep us entertained. They kept changing their boarding gates. Thrice, we had to walk, with luggages and over excited Babs to different gates which were so far from each other that we thought we may reach the Calicut airport walking.2

Once on the flight, he started crying aloud because of being restricted in one seat. But by the time the flight took off  I was able to feed him and put him to sleep. He slept peacefully in the flight and got up again only at the Calicut airport during the check out. Once the flight landed, we waited for the rush to be over before getting down the plane. Many people who passed us were looking at the toddler fast asleep in my arms and talking to each other “look how peacefully the baby is sleeping now” , “he was so cheerful” “poor baby, tired after all the excitement”

Once in the Taxi, from Calicut to Kannur, as we expected, he enjoyed the sight seeings from the car and also took short naps. The bag I had packed for him, with biscuits, bottles, warm water, Formula milk powder, sugar, wipes, diapers, dress, towels etc.. came in handy throughout the trip.

On the return trip too he did not create much problem other than over excitement at the airport. I could hear two babies crying non stop throughout the flight, and thanked God and of course Babs for being a better travel partner.

Image Courtsey : 1

What kept me from leaving home !!

Once when I was around 10 yrs old and my dee 12 yrs, my Amma was doing the routine combing to remove the head lices / jua (they are now extinct or endangered species I suppose, haven’t seen even one lice for a long long time now) which flourished and nourished on my long thick black lustrous hair I had then (and now I have something black on my head in the name of hair 😦 ).

ImageI hated this (Indian mother’s favourite pastime) sooo much. Just the sight of the comb used to make me a rebel. All my pleas to leave my hair alone fell into deaf ears. Finally I had enough and I decided to leave home for good. I escaped my Amma’s hold, declared my intention to leave home.

My dee, who was bathing, was hearing the commotion outside. She rushed out of the bathroom with water dripping from her hair and body, wetting the frock she wore. She ran behind me and pulled my arms.

“Please don’t leave, please “

“I have to. I can’t stay in this house. Amma doesn’t like me”

“Then I will also come with you. Please wait for 5 minutes.”

“No am going. I can’t stay here for another minute.”

“Don’t go alone. I will come with you. Please wait for 5 minutes. I will join you.”

“If you want to come with me, come now. I can’t stay here for another minute”

“Please wait for 2 minutes at least. I will come with you. Please.. please..”

I thought, may be she was not stupid like me, wanted to pack some clothes. After all she used to scare Ammamma (granny) often by packing her 2 favourite dresses in a polythene bag and declaring that she would leave home and come to us. (Me and Bro were with parents in Hyderabad till I was nearly 9 yrs old and my dee was left with our Ammamma in Kannur )

Konipadi

“Ok.. I will wait for you at the konipadi (steps at the gate as in picture). But why do you want 2 minutes ?”

“I rushed out of the bathroom hearing that you were leaving. I could just pull on my frock in a hurry but did not wear chaddi (underwear). How can I leave home with you without wearing chaddi ?”

She ran towards the bathroom.

Image

I stood there unable to react. My dee came back running in 2 minutes. I looked at my Amma who was enjoying the whole drama.

My whole anger had vanished but just to teach smiling Amma a lesson, we did not go back home immediately. We both sat at the konipadi till our hunger forced us to return home when Amma called us for tea. We had tea as if nothing had happened.

So what kept me from leaving home that day ? My dee or her Chaddi ?

PS: I wanted to post this on 9th Dec (her birthday). But last two weeks were too hectic at office and awful at home with Babs falling sick.

PPS: Sorry Dee.. I know you would want to burn all my chaddis and leave me chaddiless  for posting your chaddi story.

1991 : A Diwali Story

Year : 1991, A Diwali day , 10.00 am at CRPF Residence Quarters, Hyderabad

I want to see the fire.. please didi light some crackers” , 6 yrs old Su said.
No, not now. In the night. Diwali crackers are to be lighted in the night” 8 yrs old Didi answered.
Please didi, just one.. please
No. not now, let Amma & Papa come back
Please didi, I want to see the fire, please light one kambithiri (sparkle stick)
She dragged a stool towards the stand on the wall where God’s idol was kept. She climbed on the stool and took the match box kept next to the Vilakku (lamp). Su took 1 sparkle stick out of the box under the table. She took a piece of newspaper and both moved towards the living room window.
I will light the newspaper, and hold it outside the window, you can light the stick from the fire in the newspaper and hold it outside the window.
Su gleefully “haan haa
She kept the newspaper on the window sill and lighted it. And then the most unexpected thing happened. The wind blew the burning paper into the room and it fell on the cotton cloth which covered the sewing machine next to the window. It caught fire.
Su was scared and started crying. She immediately pulled the burning cloth down, but by then the sewing machine bar had caught fire. She ran to the bathroom and dragged a bucket of water to the room and poured cups of water on the burning cloth and sewing machine. The fire was put out. Next she took a broom and cleaned off the charred cloth and ash water from the room. Then she noticed a burnt hole in her pink frock. She immediately changed the frock, hid it behind the iron trunk in the bedroom.
Then she took her frightened little brother with her, locked the flat (in the 1st floor) from outside, climbed down the stairs and sat at end of the stair case waiting for her parents to come back.
She had cleaned and hid the frock, so that her parents don’t come to know about the fire. But when the parents were back, she just broke into tears.
Amma worried, “What happened, why are you here and not in the room? I asked you both to stay inside till we come”.
Sob. “go up and see
What ? What happened
Sob.  “go up and see
Amma grabbed Su and Papa grabbed her and rushed upstairs.
On entering the flat, they didn’t find anything odd. Then they got a faint burnt smell.  Amma ran to kitchen. But there was nothing on the stove and everything was as she had left. They both looked at her quizzically.
What happened ?”
She pointed toward the sewing machine. Papa inspected the sewing machine and found the burn marks on the wooden platform, burnt and broken sewing bar. She broke into tears again and narrated the whole incident.
Papa looked at the crackers kept below the table. They were intact, except for one sparkle stick on the floor near the window.
Amma “ Thank God. The crackers didn’t catch fire. How could you both be so naughty? I just left you for few minutes and this is what you have done?…………
Papa inspected them for burns. After making sure they both were fine, he took the broken bar, pulled both the kids to the bedroom. Tied them to the leg of the bed and said “Stay there till I come back from the duty. No more play, No crackers, No Diwali for you
Amma, ofcourse untied them after some time, fed them but did not allow them to move out of the room. By evening papa came back. He did not talk to them. They had a silent dinner. Outside the room crackers were bursting, children were shouting; inside, there was dead silence. The children went to bed sobbing.
Then they heard Papa’s voice.“So you are sleeping without burning crackers on Diwali? and who will eat the Diwali sweets I have brought ?” The children jumped out of the bed. The whole family went to the verandah, burnt crackers with Papa’s supervision, enjoyed sweets and happily celebrated Diwali. Next day Amma & Papa explained to them their mistakes and about the danger their action would have caused. And also praised the girl for her presence of mind and appreciated the way she managed the situation.
Things I don’t remember now about the incident : Where did Amma & Papa go ?
And what was my brother doing all the time I was putting out the fire and cleaning the floor.
“WISH YOU ALL A HAPPY AND SAFE DIWALI”

The Anniversary Rusk

Spandana’s Mug Cake

I wandered into this Blog and saw this recipe . I have never baked a cake. I do not have the equipments to bake in an oven and I am too scared to bake in the pressure cooker. I have this weird feeling that my pressure cooker will burst if I keep it on stove for more than 10 mins. By the way, I also have this weird feeling that my oven will burst if I keep it on for more than 5 mins. I have previously used the oven only to heat the leftover meals.

So this recipe gave me the chance to bake a cake using regular coffee cups, that too in 5 minutes time.. I thought of surprising Raj with this Cake on our fourth Anniversary, yesterday.

But my first baking experience didn’t go well 😦

My mistakes :
1. Filled up to 3/4th of the cup,  when my cup was smaller and I should have filled only 1/2 of the cup. 
2. Baked in the oven for 5 mins exactly, going by the recipe, ignoring Spandana’s advise ” The baking time might differ depending on the microwave, so keep checking for every minute after first two minutes.”
So poor Raj ended up eating over baked cake renamed as ‘chocolate Mug rusk‘ .
As for Baking, I have not given it up yet. I know my mistakes and am hoping to make a perfect mug cake, the next time.

PS : I also gifted him a pair of formal shirt & trousers. Whoever says shopping for woman is nerve wracking, please try shopping for my husband. He took 2 hours to buy just 1 pair of shirt & trousers . By the time Raj’s shopping was over, Babs was so bored that he started pulling my hair and when we walked out of the shop, my hair was a khosla ka ghosla. My new hair style got many admiring glances on our way out of the mall.
 UPDATE : I made the mug cake again on Thursday and it came out perfect!!
Raj absolutely loved it. Thank You Spandana for the recipe.

Smart Birthday !!!

July 16th2012  
My Nokia 3110 Classic, decided to drown in the water, not in chullu bar pani but table bar pani. No, it was not a suicide and noting that
wasn’t aware that the water dispenser kept on the table was leaking, it was neither a murder. It was an unfortunate accident. After being with me through the thick and thin, surviving at least 5 falls a week for 3 yrs and 10 months, it finally said goodbye.  
July 17th2012 
Raj : Lets go and buy a mobile. Anyways you needed a new mobile phone, the phone you had was an antique piece, no one carries such old models now.
Me : No.. not today, now that I have to buy a mobile, I want to buy a smartphone and this month we cant afford it. If only I could get an old phone to adjust with for this one month.
 
Next 2 weeks , a friend was kind enough to loan me an extra mobile set she had. 
 
Aug 2012
 
Raj : Lets go and buy a mobile.
Me  : No.. not this month, we cant afford it. If only I could get an old phone to adjust with for one more  month.
My sister who was in Kerala enjoying a short vacation had come back and she lend me her old mobile set, Nokia 2600 Classic,

which she had given her 7 yr old son to play with. My nephew was kind enough to trade his toy with chocolates, just for his beloved ‘elemma’ (mother’s younger sister ).

Sept 2012

Raj : We have waited long enough. Lets buy a new phone, I have checked the smart phones in the malls, Sony Ericcson Xperia seems to be good and in our budget.
Me : Ya.. but not yet. Lets wait and see if I get an increment this month.
 
Still using the Nokia 2600.
 
Oct 2012
 
Raj : My colleague has bought Nokia Lumia 900. Its good. Lets buy Nokia Lumia 800,  that would be in our budget.
Me : No. Smart phone will be a luxury. I keep dropping phones. This Nokia phone is good and can survive my rough handling. I use phone only to answer calls and rarely to make calls. And yes  as alarm also. I don’t need any extra features in the mobile. Can think of a smartphone next year. May be.
 
29th Oct 2012
 
My Birthday and guess what my Hubby gifts me : Samsung Galaxy S duos.

And my reaction : Oh my God !!. Why did you spent so much money on the phone ? It would make a big hole in our pockets. We could have bought it next year. May be I would have got an increment by then. Why did you…………
Raj : My dear please…….. What’s the use of saving money, if we can’t spent a little on such essential luxuries. ( ya, that’s what he said “essential luxuries” ). 
Me : But I don’t need…
Raj : I know you wanted it . This is NOT a waste of money. This is what we earn money for, to fulfill our small desires.
Me  : Oh ok. ok.. ( by now I was impressed with the phone and giving more attention to it than my poor hubby )..it’s nice, looks good..  Thank you dear…
Raj : But don’t expect any other gift on our 4th Anniversary that comes 12 days after, and “mummy Seena’s” first birthday that comes 27 days after and the 4thanniversary of our first meeting which also happens to be today.
Me : One gift, for 4 occasions ? Oh God! You are such a miser. Mr. Kanjoos!!
Raj : Kanjoos!! but just now u were against spending ………..
( I walk away tapping on my new Samsung Smartphone) 


On another note :
Did you know Google does customized birthday Doodles for those who have Google account ? Well, I didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised on seeing this when I logged in Google on 29th morning.