The festival of words

Write Tribe

So it’s the 7th and final day of the Seven days festival of words. This is my first ever blogging challenge and I am so glad that I was able to put up six posts on the theme Seven. And here’s my 7th post on my experience with the blogging festival.
1. I learnt that I should not enter a challenge without preparation. Though Corinne had announced the festival early in August, I joined the team only in the last moment. I had no specific plan or theme in mind and each day I would sit down and think what to write. All my posts were last minute thoughts and I suppose it is very much evident in all my posts.
2. On the second day itself I had trouble due to my procrastination. I had completed writing a post, but the proofreading and posting was pending and when I sat to do it in the midnight, the internet failed making me unable to post it. But thankfully I was allowed to link my post the next day and continue participation.
3. I came to know that the chance of putting up a blog post is high when I type directly in the blog draft page. I used to write posts in word and then copy paste to my blog. But most of those posts got abandoned midway. I have almost 20 incomplete posts in the word file. But whenever I typed directly in the draft, I completed the post in one go. I started doing it from the third day.
4. You don’t actually participate in a festival, when you just put up posts but don’t interact with other bloggers. The whole point about this festival was building up a blogging community where bloggers meet new bloggers, interact with each other, share ideas, provide encouragement and learn a lot from each other. I could somehow manage posting everyday but interaction took a back seat. Actually I have not visited as many blogs or commented on as many blogs as I used to do before this challenge. Now that the pressure to post is over, I would catch up with all the missed posts 🙂
5. Writing a fiction that too within limitations was something I thought was impossible for me. But I could write a story with not just one, but two constraints ( incorporating both seven colours of VIBGYOR and seven numbers from seven to one ). I wrote the first line 8 different ways but couldn’t continue and then once I wrote the line 9th time, the words just kept coming and I finished writing it in 5-10 minutes 🙂 While posting I noticed that ‘TWO’ was missing, then I had to think for another 10-15 minutes to include it in the story 🙂 The outcome may not be that great, but I am so happy that I could do it.
6. There are people who sleep walk, but I am the weird one who sleep posts.The fifth day I put Babs to bed and sleepily typed the post. But Babs got up again and while nursing him back to sleep, I too dozed off. I got up suddenly and found my laptop still open on the bed and my glasses still on. And finally I published the post in half sleep and forgot to add the link. I added it the next day.
7. I have found many awesome bloggers through this festival and have added them to my blog roll. I was also fortunate to get many new visitors to my blog and their comments made my day 🙂
Thank you all for your time, love and encouragement. It means a lot to me.

And I want to Thank Babs too for making it possible for me to blog every day. Babs is a late sleeper and after using each and every technique to put him to bed early for nearly 18 months, I have come to terms with the fact. He would either sleep at 12.00 and get up in the morning or after lot of efforts sleep at 9.00 or 10.00 to only get up at 11.00 and play till 4.00 am ! So I have chosen to go with the first option. If babs had followed the sleep pattern I could not have written even a single post. But surprisingly this whole week he slept by 10.30. And I who was waiting for months for him to sleep early so that I can get that extra one and a half hours of sleep, sacrificed my precious sleep for blogging !

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

A Busy week

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I have been busy this week and participating in the seven days blogging festival has been quite a challenge, especially because I jumped in without any preparation.
Since I can’t think of any topic to write and I must post something, let me write the seven things that keep me busy on a normal day :

1. Books – I have recently taken membership with Dubai Library. So I am busy reading books. The travelling time from home to office and back to home, is the only time I get to read. Depending on the mode of transport (office cab or bus) and the traffic, I get 10 -25 minutes reading time per travel each day.
2. Work – My hands were already full, but when my manager asked me if I can do a “non priority work that need to be done only when I am free”, I accepted that as well. So there goes my free time 😦 I must learn to say ‘no’. As if this wasn’t enough, one of my colleagues resigned last week and few of his responsibilities too fell on me and from next week my another colleague is going for vacation. Need I say more. I am not sure if I will be able to squeeze time to read blogs at work like I am doing now !
3.Babs – Once back home, the first thing I do is to sit in the villa courtyard and watch Babs play with his friends. Meanwhile Raj does the dishes. Later feeding him, playing and dancing with him, reading to him and putting him to bed takes major part of my time at home.
4. Cooking & other house hold chores- After my time with Babs in the courtyard, its daddy and son’s play time and I am in kitchen preparing dinner and doing other house hold chores like grinding batter for Dosa/Idli for the next day’s breakfast, sorting and putting clothes in the machine etc..
5. Socializing – After feeding Babs, we again go out in the courtyard. There are 11 kids in the villa. They play in the courtyard, while the mummies chat, gossip, walk, exercise etc.. 3 days ago we did a running competition too. I felt so good to run after 13 years, last time I ran like that was when I was in school. 🙂
6. Blogging – After putting Babs to bed, I sit for writing a blog post. I open the draft page and start thinking about the topic. I post something in 1-2 hrs and go off to sleep.
7. Tuition- This is something that will keep me busy from the next week actually. I have mentioned earlier that I help a neighbourhood kid in Hindi lessons. He had gone on vacation and will be back next week. His mother had requested me to continue taking the lessons once they are back. She has no knowledge on Hindi and is not able to help her son. So I couldn’t say no to her. I have to give up the socializing time and squeeze in 1 hr in my schedule for this from the next week.

This is my routine work day schedule. Some days cooking is replaced by eating out/home delivery and those days I watch something random on the television 🙂
If you are wondering about weekends, they are of two kinds. Boring weekend is sleeping, cooking, cleaning and playing with Babs. Happy weekend is sleeping, cooking, cleaning, playing with Babs and outing. 🙂

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

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.

The week

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Saturday : ” Oh God! Saturday must be a holiday. There should a universal law passed making Saturday holiday for everyone or just give me one more Friday!”

Sunday : ” OMG, so much to do.. I have to do that, finish this, start that, call him, mail her, ………”

Monday : “There should be more than 24 hours in a day.”

Tuesday : “Hmm.. I can smell Thursday round the corner. 2 more days of hectic work and then its a break…” 🙂

Wednesday : “Wow, its already Wednesday.. tomorrow is Thursday. I can go home in the afternoon and sleep…” 🙂 🙂

Thursday : “OMG. Its weekend already! I have to finish all the work by afternoon or else it would be pushed to next week. To finish a full day’s work in half a day is so hectic.. ” 😦

Friday : ” Oye.. it’s Friday…”  🙂 🙂 🙂

Blinks eye “OMG , Friday is over.. so fast.. oh no.. oh please make Saturday also Friday..”

These are my moods on each day of the week 🙂 What about you ?

PS : Thursday is half working day and Friday is off for me and Raj.

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

Seven traits of a confused soul

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Filling the column ‘About me’ was always tough for me and still is. When I started reading blogs ,I saw that almost all the bloggers described themselves so easily in just few words. I really wonder how they are able to do that. For me it is next to impossible, owing to the fact that I seriously don’t know myself well. Why so much confusion about one’s own personality? Well, here’s seven of the many contrasting traits in my character and then please guess my personality 🙂

1. I procrastinate a lot when it comes to things that matters only to me.  I keep pushing things to the eternity when it comes to my visiting the parlour, sewing my torn dress, exercising, dieting or writing blog post ! But come to my job, I have always been praised for completing tasks on time. Right from school homework and projects to my responsibilities at current job, I have hardly ever missed a deadline. If someone gives me a responsibility, I do it as soon as possible. So am I really a procrastinator or just that I should be little more responsible towards myself ?

2. I cry watching an emotional scene in movie/serial/ad or reading books or blogs. I do cry and get emotional in real life too (but not at the drop of a hat kind).  I can’t bear to see anyone in pain or crying. This should mean that I am very sensitive person. But look at the other part. I don’t panic if a near and dear has gone out and has not returned at expected time. I don’t wait sleeplessly for  someone dear who is travelling to call me and update about their reaching the destination safe ( unless of course he/she is a kid ). I don’t panic when someone is not lifting the call twice or not calling back. I try to find logical reasons and wait. Am I being insensitive ?

3. My classmates, colleagues, neighbors would say I am the most patient being on Earth and I can never get angry or shout at a person. My family would say I am short tempered and can’t argue without shouting.

4. I can’t do the small talk or start up a conversation with an unfamiliar person. I am known among relatives as one who hardly talks but smiles lot.  Am I an introvert ? I can talk non stop with my close friends and family. I love to visit new places, go for group outings, attend get-togethers, parties, functions and chill out with friends. Extrovert right ?

5. I am generally not obsessive about cleanliness. Floors need not be moped daily, eatables dropped can be picked up eaten unless it is sticky or the floor is dirty, furniture need not be dusted daily. A little germ does only help in building immunity. But I have OCD of washing hands and dishes. I keep washing my hands after each activity in kitchen, wash the already washed plates if using after 5 mins of washing. I hate doing dishes when all are piled together and get my husband to do it, but while using I again wash it myself 🙂

6. I avoid talking on phone. At office my mobile phone lies on the desk all the time even when I am walking around, in pantry having lunch or in conference room in a meeting. While travelling it’s in my bag. Once at home it’s either on the table or sometimes doesn’t come out of the bag at all. I make calls only for communicating something, not for general chat. But all the jobs I have been doing till now, I have to be on the phone all the time and continuous follow up and communication is one of my strengths at work. A friend once said, may be you will have to be paid to speak on phone !

7. I can sleep 24 hrs and lie down without doing anything for hours. I love sleeping and lazing around is my favourite pass time. But once I reach office I am a complete workaholic, some days I have even forgotten to drink water or go to loo and had to pulled by colleagues for lunch. Once I start doing a clean up or tidying up activity I sweat till it is done to perfection.

Confused ? I am 🙂

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

PS : I couldn’t post this yesterday, so missed posting the 2nd day of the festival. I am not sure if I can still link to the Write Tribe, Festival of words.

Update : Ever so sweet Corinne said I could still link it to the festival 🙂

Seven and Me

When I read that Write Tribe (a wonderful blog for bloggers) is organizing a Festival of Words, a seven-day blogging festival with the theme Seven, I was tempted to participate in it. Actually all the blogging challenges and prompts by Write Tribe tempts me, but the procrastinator in me always wins over the temptation and I ended up writing Haiku only. This time too after the initial temptation, I convinced myself that I cannot do it. But then, last Thursday when I had a relaxing day at office, I gave in to the temptation and jumped in.  The cobwebs developing in my blog warned me that  if I wanted to be back to blogging, it’s Now or Never. Incidentally, my first Blog anniversary is in September (WordPress has already wished me anniversary in July, when I had just signed up. But my first post was in September !). And when I look back I have only 27 posts in last 1 year. Ya, I know I don’t have to give any more proof that am Garfield’s twin sister. But guys, it does not apply to reading blogs. I had taken up URC (Ultimate Reading Challenge) in July when almost all  my favourite bloggers were participating in UBC !

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Now, coming back to the theme Seven, I have a bitter relationship with the number seven. This number has given me so many embarrassing moments. I did not want anything to happen in my life on 7th or at 7 a.m/p.m. Wondering how a number can  hurt a person? Well, I am a Malayali and I can’t say the word seven in my mother tongue correctly. Can you smell the trouble there?  In Malayalam Seven is ‘Ezhu‘ and since childhood I have been pronouncing it as ‘Eyu‘. The word ‘zhu‘ (as far as my limited knowledge on languages goes) is found only in Malayalam. The same happens when I say other words with ‘zh‘ like ‘mazha‘(rain), ‘puzha‘ (river) etc.. But word ‘Ezhu‘ is used more frequently. You may ask, what’s the big deal if you can’t pronounce a word right. Exactly, what’s the big deal ? That too when the meaning does not change if I pronounce it ‘zha’ or ‘ya’.

But there are some who don’t think so, and I call them family! They just wait for me to utter the word and then they sing in unison ” aval ezhu manik ezham mayilil poyi ezhu vazha pazham vangi mazha nananju puzha kadannu vannu” (she went at 7.00, to 7th mile, bought seven bananas, drenched in the rain, crossed the river and came) replacing all the ‘zha’ with ‘ya‘! My parents and siblings were very particular that my husband and family-in law know it as soon as the marriage was fixed. It doesn’t stop there, my relatives- in-law and neighbours- in-law also know it. My uncle advised me to take it as a challenge and learn ‘zha‘ by practicing it every day and I did give it a try. But I realised it would be easier for me to learn Greek than say ‘Ezhu‘ in Malayalam! So I gave up. And now I have “whatever” attitude towards that word. And recently I feel people don’t pull my leg as much they did earlier, may be they just lost the fun in it or the hope in me 😉 Now to teach my son all the Malayalm words with zha in it is my Raj’s duty 🙂

For non Malayalees, you can hear how ‘ezhu’ is actually pronounced here.  (Watch at your own risk 🙂 )

Singer Shreya Ghoshal, pronounces ‘zha‘ more clearly than me! You can hear how beautifully she pronounces “kizhak”, “tozhan” etc.. in this song.

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