Saturday, February 23, 2008

Habit? Addiction? I can't stop!!

It's our night-time routine. We tuck the girls in...start their lullaby CD...and give them big hugs...Then, Pup and I get all cozy and comfy...lights dim down and we start the DVR.

"Hello, Miss Menaka!" said Aanandi, the reporter who just arrived at the huge mansion. "Well, hello Miss Aanandi" replied Menaka with a high and mighty attitude. "I am here to take your interview for our Newspaper", says Aanandi.
M: "Well, I simply gave you an appointment to know more about your Paper. I will decide what goes on in our meeting, not you!"
A: "You know? You cannot insult me! I am a reporter. You may be a multi-national tycoon, but my time is just as valuable as yours. I have waited more than two months to get this appointment, for what? To hear you insult me?"
M: "Hey! Stop it! This is my place and you will listen to me. I should say I admire your courage though! Talking to me like that! I like that in a woman. So what do you want?"
A: "I have heard accusations about your business tactics. I am going to write about it in my paper. I am giving you a chance to clear your name."
M: All flustered, "T..T...That's B.S.! (and she uses Blasphemy here, with no censor!) And I am not going to talk to you. I have no need to!"
A: "I have proof. And you can't insult me like this. My time is very valuable too. I am giving you a chance to tell your side of the story!"
M: "You cannot just write whatever you want. Just because you say something, doesn't mean its true. I do not need this! Who has been feeding you these false accusations about me?"
A: "I follow good ethics and cannot tell you who my source is!"
M: "I do not need to hear this! I want you to leave."
A: "I am a reporter. A good and decent one. I have heard one side of the story, and I am giving you a chance to tell me its not true that you have used people and grown so big using cheap tactics and fraud. And when the Americans and British started putting pieces of your fraudulent techniques together, you wrapped up your business and moved to Chennai to continue your dirty work."
M: "Hm...I know who has been feeding you all this information! It must be that X. He's drunk all the time and you trust his words?"
A: "All I'm saying is I want to give you a chance to tell me if this is true"....

And this dialogue continued for maybe another 5 minutes (5 seconds for me, thanks to my DVR).
If you haven't already guessed what I'm talking about, it's the "Mega"-series, Kolangal (meaning Rangoli) that I'd like to call Torture!

I must be a masochist to be inflicting this pain every single week night for over 3 years now! You heard me right, sista! THREE YEARS! I have to know what happens every single episode!! We (pup and I) usually tape it and watch the supposedly 30-minute episodes in just under 3 minutes! No kidding! I sometimes watch just the Ads and fast-forward the entire episode.
We just can't stand the sub-standard quality of the script, the story-line, or anything about it! Nothing is real in this story! And the lead character, Abi has faced the worst situtations over and over and over and over (you get the drill) again! I have truly believed at least 5 times that this sob story is coming to a definite end, but no! History, or should I say Misery Repeats itself.

BUT I CAN JUST NOT STOP WATCHING IT!! Pup has gotten better and is happy to get a 30-second narrative from the 3-minutes that I watch. Most days all I have for him is "Nothing new happened today!". Pup keeps teasing me that he is gonna disconnect Sun TV someday and I throw back unspeakable ultimatums at him!

Anyways, most secrets/suspenses in the story are out in the open. The only thing left is to finally see Abi rise up the ladder and win over the "villains". I will update you in a couple of years!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

President's Day

Today is a Holiday for most folks around here to celebrate the birthday of President George Washington. I've taken the day off. I'm so glad I did because I have more time to work with T1 on a Project. Yeah, you heard it right! My dear Kindergartener's first real "graded" project! We have to (I mean, "she" has to) do a report on President Ford. This includes a chart about Ford, with pictures and some key facts. She also has to give a speech about him for a couple of minutes!
Over the past couple of weeks, I've been talking to her about Ford.
I am not sure she really understands what "pardon" is, let alone the infamous Nixon pardon. She is mostly interested in finding more about the crimes behind the Watergate Scandal! Now, how do you explain something so intense to a six year old?
Once I somehow overcame that, she was curious about his death! "Is he dead?" she asked. Then came "How did he die? Was he shot?"...
Apparently, the entire class seems to be interested in just that! Some of the kids gave their presentation last week. The most popular question from the cute and curious 5 and 6 year old audience was about how and when each President died :)
She has it in her head that all dead Presidents were shot!
Becoming a President is now off of her list of careers now :)
As much fun as it has been to spend time with her to work on this report, I feel it is a lot to expect from these little kids! It's been a challenge to thrust all of this information to her and have her write it (the report has to be pencil-written by the kids).
I dread to think what middle and high school will be like!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I’m an only child – not!

T1 is in Kindergarten and they have this thing called “Star of the week”, where every kids gets a week to be the star of the class.
Aka more work for mommy!
We had to make a chart about her (she actually did a lot of the writing/drawing herself).
Dad printed a couple of photos to add to the chart (one of all 4 of us, and one of t1 and t2).
Then every day of the week there is a special activity –
Monday – she got to wear whatever she liked (no uniform).
Tuesday – she got to pick a friend to eat lunch with (she made us cry when she told us about her choice – she pick this super-hyper kid who always gets himself into trouble with the law...i mean..teacher! The reason she picked him was cos he has the least friends and she wanted to make him feel nice)! Is she really six years old?
Wednesday – special snack of her choice (we have to send in). Being a bad-weather day today, we moved it to Friday.
Thursday – she can bring a movie/game to share (we decided to go with “A bug’s life”)

And, we had to send 4 artifacts about her – Birth bracelet from the hospital, 0-1yr picture frame (will post this sometime), Kumon trophy (yeah! me got sucked into Kumon), and her ice-skating camp shirt.

So Anyways…When I helped her carry the chart and artifacts to her class on Monday, her teacher shyly asked who the little girl in the picture is!
When I told her she is T1’s little sis, she was surprised!! She had no idea that T1 has a sister!
She thought all along that T1’s an only-child.
At first I thought that was hilarious!
But, this has been bothering me all week….
How can this be?
T1 is a big chatterer. She can talk for hours about everything or nothing and not be tired – like most 6 year olds!
I’m completely staggered that she has never once mentioned T2 to her teacher!
It’s a given that there is some built-up sibling rivalry, but is it bad?

T1’s showing great signs of accepting her little sis. There are good and not-so-good moments, but overall they are a good pair. Or so I hope!
She’s been an awesome helper of late, esply in the crazy morning hours.
She helps wake T2 up (which has to be done very tactfully), we do NOT want T2 waking up on the wrong side of the bed!
She sets T2’s brush and paste ready when she does hers, they SO lovingly hug each other when watching a movie, she patiently teaches her the alphabet and numbers, and so much else!
Does she do all that to make us think she’s OK about T2?

I know deep down she cares for her – right?

She is a typical child who needs a sibling! She even asks us for another one!
(Which is not happening!)

I hope we are doing the right things to make them bond unconditionally like we want them to!
I suppose we should simply wait this one out, but not without a LOT of hard work from our side!

From A-Z

A-Available? Me? No! But I do know a few people with cool Zodiacs who are ;)
B-Best friend:Is Not Available!
C-Cake or Pie? Cakes are my Best Friend!!

D-Drink of choice: Cake or Pie!
(I eat em like I drink water).
E-Essential thing used everyday: Definitely my drink of choice!
– Water.
F-Favourite colour: that of my essential thing used everyday, with a little pink lemondade?
G-Gummi bears or worms: Neither – The only kind we buy are gummy bear vitamins (T2 even has her favorite color)!
H-Hometown: A place that has few gummy bears, but boy! loads of worms – hot, humid, beautiful Chennai “maanagaram” (aka Metro).
I-Indulgence: A trip to my Hometown, sigh! It’s been over 4 years now!!
J-January or February: February of course – it’s the month of Indulgence, what with V-Day and all!
K-Kids and names: 2 girls – T1 and T2… Tho January or February would have been cool names!
L-Life – Mine seems like its all (almost all) about my Kids, I’d like to include the big kid in that list.
M-Marriage date: 14th is the date...Seems like my whole Life
N-Number of siblings: Simple question…but a complicated answer! They are a lot of things to me, to name a few - they become my mommy, my Boxing bag (where I lash out and not worry about any damage), my reason for wanting to lash out (when they tell me the truth and not what I want to hear), the reason my Marriage Date moved up a year (had to find a way to use that) by planning a trip to India together (which was a mammoth task),.
Not considering all that, it’s 3.
O-Oranges or apples: Both, only if someone cuts and serves em to me…I give up! I can’t seem to find a way to use Number of Siblings here…Wait! I just did!! Cool!
P-Phobias: Oranges and Apples, cos I am not getting enof in my diet, and that scares me!
Q-Quote: Single or double? They’ve always been my phobias for they are short sentences with HUGE meaning!
R-Reason to smile: Any funny Quote or PJ, or a "Kadi" Joke – be it from great philosophers or from my little Tees or from Pup (let me share a recent one from pup – He asked me what the advantage of standing and sleeping is…of course I do not know…and he says…you don’t have to get up! What a PJ! but funny :)
S-Season: Where I live right now, we sometimes see all 4 seasons and maybe more in one day, so I shd say “Spring-like” and “Fall-Like” are always two reasons for me to smile!
T-Tag three people: Looks like tis the season to be tagging…I tag Preethi , Its our space , and Timepass
U-Unknown fact about me: I accept I'm a little blog-challenged now...I had no clue what to do when Dotmom tagged me, or when I was asked to Tag Three People.
V-Vegetable you do not like: I was trying to figure this one, and I learnt an unknown fact about me-self - I think I eat all vegetables (unless it’s something I’ve never seen/used)...
W-Worst habit: I lie when asked about Vegetable I do not like – oops!
X-x-rays you have had: Teeth and lungs. How the heck do I link X-rays and Worst Habit!? I’m too far in this to revamp the effort!
Y-Your favorite food: Nothing after a dental x-ray! Have a lotta fav-foods, particularly - a good Eggplant-parm sandwich – anytime!
Z-Zodiac: Taurus, do all Taureans have as many favorite foods like I do??

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Stay-at-home daughter: I had a few months’ break after I completed my Bachelor’s and before I started my Masters Program…
If there is one place where you can gain 30 pounds in 6 months without being pregnant, it’s Zambia!
And, that’s exactly what happened to me! When I went to India for a visit six months later, Pup (we were informally engaged by then) asked, “Who are you and why did you eat my girl”?
It took me forever to lose those pounds! But seriously, I have little regrets!
I may never eat that kind of rich food (with an inch of cream on the milk) ever again, but I will always cherish those days of a royal life as a stay-at-home girl.
Stay-at-home wife: When we moved to the US soon after we got married, I was on a dependant visa living in Louisville, KY.
Which meant, I couldn't work. It was the mid-late 90s and by then the first question employers asked was about the Work Status! The fact that I did not study in the US made it tougher. So I stayed at home.
At first, I woke up really early with Pup, got his breakfast ready, got an evening snack ready, and cooked an elborate dinner almost every night! Soon the waking up early stopped. I was getting bored and lacked schedule. My sisters kept warning me that once I get into the corporate world, this carefree life would never come back. How very true!! Then I decided to take some classes at a local community college. A year rolled by and we moved to Northern VA.
Took more classes at one of the gazillion desi training centers. I got hired by these folks as a consultant/instructor.
Stay-at-home Mom: A few years later, when T1 was about 7 months old, I decided to stay home for a "little" while to take care of her! In this context, "little" turned out to be a little over 2 years. Yup! I became a Stay-at-home-mom (SAHM).
Trust me, I now have a completely new-found respect for SAHMs. It takes a great deal of patience, discipline, support, and did I say patience?
It's no mean task! No siree!! It was emotionally, financially, and physically draining for me. And that's coming from someone who has an EXTREMELY supportive husband. Despite being a SAHM, I had to send T1 to a daycare. It was only for a few hours a week, I did it nonetheless when she was barely a year and a half old! I dunno, May be it's just me! I worried about everything! I over-worked myself if T1 did not eat at least 3/4 of her meal, and before I struggled through the end of one meal, it was almost time for the next! How the heck are you supposed to feed them the stipulated 2-3 cups of milk, 3-4 servings of veggies/fruits, plus cereal + finger foods!!!??
When she was about 6-7 months old, I worked really hard to get her into a proper sleep/food routine. When she was close to a year, I had to train her to break routine (if we travelled or went out). When she was seven months old, we found out with 26 pricks on her tiny back (Gosh, it still hurts!) that she's allergic to a whole bunch of food! And I was paranoid about how she may react to the allergens, so kept a close watch!
Despite staying home, she ended up getting back-to-back-to-back-to-back (ok you get the point) ear-infections. It was so difficult to see her suffer and we had to go back a few weeks in time with her schedule/food-habits after each infection!
Between all these struggles, comments from people about how light she is despite staying home, really worked me up! Tells you how naturally these comments come to people, and how clueless they really are! T1 has always been awesome in her height/weight charts! Not that it matters! Cos T2 is way below average on weight, yet she is just the same to us!
Anyways, It's sad that I've said so much about the -ves of staying home, but it does feel good to get it out!
I'll end it with some of the pleasures -
Being around for the first milestones is incomparable.
Giggling silly and talking gibberish ALL THE TIME - (sigh) how divine!
There is no other way I could have handled sleepless nights for a year (and after that, we had little choice but to Ferberize her).
I found the biggest, or shd I say only, fan of my voice. God knows I've sang to her off-pitch, off-octave, and off-everything; but who cares? That was all that she needed to hear (over and over again). She even used to make... (tears rolling down my cheeks now) ...special requests!
I guess some SAHMs choose to ignore the -ves and dwell on these precious moments and go all YAY for it!
I suppose It's all relative!

Monday, February 4, 2008


This one is about a thought to ponder from the last episode of the Fox Drama.

I've decided to refer to my husband as "Pup". It's one of the sweet-nothing-names we call each other when the sailing is smooth (if you know what I mean)! Recently one of my sisters discovered this and now a good friend of my husband did (darn forwarded emails)!! Since our 11+ year old secret is out in the open, I might as well broadcast it...

So anyways, Pup and I have a quirk - House! We are really hooked on to this show. Even if an episode is mediocre, we love it! Pup recently broke a toe. And, I really think he's enjoying the "limp" so he can feel like Gregory House, the lead character :)

In the last episode of house, a guest character called Dr.Cate Milton tells Dr.Wilson that she had her colleagues check his credibility/character! If you watch House, you know that Wilson is House's best friend - He is a very caring, decent person and does nothing untoward, unless it is to tease or annoy House!

Wilson is suprised when he learns that Cate trusts House but not him. Her reply to that is something to think about! She says everyone takes House at face value. He is a jerk and he does nothing to hide it. But Wilson being so nice makes her wonder if he is hiding something!

This conversation made me think -
Is it the really nice, or should I say seemingly nice people we should worry about??
Do genuinely caring people exist? Are they for real?
Or, Is it all about your perceptions? and Expectations?
No Expectations = No Disappointments, right?

I suppose it's all relative!

-Your GirlNextDoor

The first step

Well, I went on and signed up...I chose a name for my blog and am taking the first steps...
Now, Why do I want to do this?
Well, It's been a long-standing dream of my sisters and me to write a book - fiction, non-fiction, religious, something! After all these years and 7 kids later (don't catch your breath, that's 7 kids between the 4 of us), it still remains a dream. So I figured that a blog is my best shot at it!!

And, what do I write about...!?
Being an immigrant to the United States, I have to bite the bullets of religious and cultural differences, in addition to the everyday humdrum of a working mother-of-two's life.
And being part of a large, close-knit family, I face another set of challenges.
Between these two areas of focus, anyone can write volumes! So, here's my take at it...

Techie blogs aside, the only personal blog that I read regularly is that of my good friend and neighbor's. She calls herself DotMom on her blog, so I'll go with the same name...Thank you for being an inspiration to write!!

On that note, I'll make my mark in the blogosphere with this first step!