The Scorpios

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Friday, January 29, 2010

The 7 Signs of Ageing

1. When you can answer questions on Rajiv Gandhi and Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and the class 9 kids in your colony cannot
2. When you find it hard to do dumb charades for movies of today while the kids find it very easy
3. When your sons are figuring out DVD buttons better than you
4. When you cannot figure out what is so good about books like the Twilight series or as Sue says what's so good about the hero in the movie
5. When your kids can broadly figure out the story of the movie Water Horse and your husband cannot
6. When you cannot fathom what is so exciting about a lollypop that you are ready to eat it the first thing in the morning and when you say ugghh to stuff like lacto toffee, poppins and white chocolate and fall in love with dark/ bitter chocolate
7. When you realize that you have forgotten all the rules of Ludo and are unconcerned when your sons move your "gotis" back by a dozen sections

Any one ready to take up the tag? Apologies to Olay jee though!


Wise Sue?


Dottie Dotmom?

words of wisdom from MM?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

While on the Topic of Education

My latest initiative with the kids is spellings.
They are showing an interest in learning spellings.
Borrowing my SIL's idea, I have made word cards.
Each card has the words - D O O R, BOOKS, YELLOW etc written in block letters with crayons and taped to the respective place like room door, book shelf, wall etc. The premise is that with repetitive sight -words reading they will learn to read. The colours make it easy to recall apart from being attractive.
I am treting the cupboard as a rolling learning point- I will paste 2 new words every week on the cupboard while the other object words will be fixed.
Now the best part-
Tejas began to read the letters and forming the words as soon as he saw them put up.
Ojas - Tejas, see colours.
They are indeed consistent.
A couple of years back when they started doodling- Tejas would try to doodle alphabets and Ojas would draw objects!
Clearly their line of focus is very evident.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wake Up Sid

Apart from sheer entertainment value also proved to be a wake up call for parents - as we were discussing with friends the other day.

It's a nice entertainer, no big brainer type movie, typical Konkona Sen movie with shades of her character from Metro - with her preconceived notions of how her partner should be.

I enjoyed the movie- not that my standards are high as I always say and normally I do not go into greater depths than whether the songs were hummable and whether the actors looked nice or whether the clothes and sets were good and whether there were punches in the movie.

But even by my low standards of dissecting a movie- Ranbir's dialogues with his mom were jarring. Not a little bit of affection for his Mom or Dad throughout the movie. Unrealistic and scary. Does parenthood amount to being just a provider at the end of the day?

The movie addressed the coming of age of the protagonist as he his forced to stand up on his own legs. From a lazy, spoilt brat he becomes a too -good -to- be -true -to -the -point -of -being- annoying -perfect boy. In a way it mirrors the real world - hostel life does knock you into shape- kids who do not move their backside at home start washing their clothes and cooking their own food.

The scariest part is that the success of our kids depend on how much we can understand their talents and help channel their interests towards their career because it would hurt me deeply if my child is unable to enjoy what he is doing in his life.
Hubby and I have discussed this a lot- we do not expect our kids to join our line of business but the business will certainly help them in securing opporunities they would like to pursue.
At 15 our education system expects kids do decide what they want to do in their life when even the available options are not clear enough. Yes there is an improvement from our days when it was either engineering or medicine and MS or MBA. But is that enough?
And oh yes, the songs are nice. I like Iktara, Wake up Sid number is quite catchy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On Behenjis turning Modern

Or rather the other way round.
As Kiran blogged about it a few days ago

Many years ago it was a major insult if anyone used the word behenji types or dehati or likewise on me.
I come from a small town. And it would pinch badly if anyone called me that. As if I am not good enough. Or intelligent enough.
Ok to tell you the truth, living in a small town means your resources are limited, the styles are conservative, the opportunities are less and the show-sha is not at all there.

To cut a long story short, I moved on and out. Saw the world out of my town, lived in hostels, travelled abroad and now live in a metro in its own right and am maniacally hanging on to it. While I love small town life- the space, the clean air, the pace but not at gunpoint will I move back to a small town. No- not even Pondicherry (if you are reading this husband dear)
Because I don't want to become a small town behenji types whose only source of entertainment is television and who never goes to pubs and restaurants and discos (ah, I still don't but that is because the husband will never ever dance)

So that brings us to the point - am I a behenji or a behenji turned modern or what?
and coming to the root of the question- who is a behenji? Or in today's context who is a behneji?

Urban disctionery classifies Rani Mukherjee or Juhi Chawla as behenjis btw...

What I feel is I would rather be a healthy mix of both modern and behenji

So from a small town girl studying in a girls only convent school I became a hostel living- co-ed mein studying- alone travelling- wanting to do MBA-wanting to work rather than wanting to "get married after passing BA"- living alone in a city faaaaaaaaaaaaar South girl- Did it make me a non Behenji?

Ok so from trouser and skirt wearing I became a churidaar kurta girl (figure issues nonetheless) wanting very badly to wear a sari to work atleast monthly once and always wearing sari during functions- does that make me a behenji?

I believe in rustling up food at home for the 3 men in my life, there is a sudden urge to observe and create my own traditions in my own home- so while I still don't do a puja everyday but I insist that all festivals- North Indian & South Indian be observed in my home- from Kartik Deepam to Pongal to Diwali and even Christmas- does the first part make me a behenji or the last part (Christmas) make me non Behenji?

From being a strict mommy blogger only to facebooking now- does it make me a non behenji then?

I treat my husband as my friend- I am most comfortable that way because that is how we started- and not the pati parmeshvar but at the same time I believe in monogamy- not behenji or yes? (Disclaimer- doesn't write off harmless flirting !!)

I drive but will never drive to locations that are more than an hour away- behenji then?

I have become a compulsive shopper- this is a no brainer- this makes me what I am - a woman!!
But then I am buying stuff for my home and not just for me- Behenji or an arty-farty types or just a proud homemaker- which in a way translates to being behenji???

I am actually finding SAHM an attractive proposition while at the same time dreaming of becoming a hot shot top corporate types doing her own thing- behenji? or plain practical who wants to take a sabbatical and spend time with kids?

So am I getting behenji-ised or just becoming a woman of modern thinking and traditional values - who will shun regressiveness and at the same time keep traditions and customs alive
-who will be a superb homemaker and at the same time a professional when at work
-who will value quality time with family and at the same time will know how to do her own thing like blogmeets and girlie lunches and parties and society dos and the like
-who will at a drop of a hat do a large social get together at home churning up homemade food and at the same time do a stylish theme based birthday party full of fun
-who will be very very busy with work and home yet find time to connect
-who will splurge at the same time know how to save and invest
- who can equally enjoy a Rebecca & a Jeffery archer and a Women's Era or worse a Grihashobha?
-who will be houseproud but at the same time shake in her shoes at the mention of "housework"
-who will sing her kids to sleep but will sing- jhalak dikhlaja as a lori!
-who will mindlessly chatter with her friends and cousins of her age group but will be equally comfortable with the older age group
-who can get supremely attached to tele soaps and at the same time dance to music reality shows
-who supports and rejoices in consumerism but is a rabid control freak where environment is concerned
So what are you? Behenji or not?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Honest Scrap Dare

by Kiran
10 things about me I bet no one knows
1. Travelled ticketless in train
2. Switched off in meetings more often than stayed awake- but see my notes- I manage to note down everything that happened
3. done a 6 year course in Kathak
4. I secretly agree that no matter how hard I work at it the end results of my cooking exploits are not in proportion to the amount of hard work
5. I am glad that I take my kids everywhere because they give me a sense of purpose when I am getting bored in a place or in a group.
6. Sometimes coming to work is my only escape from the alternative of slogging at home
7. I love to travel but the process of getting the luggage ready is so exhausting that I would rather not go anywhere
8. Cartoons enable me to get my house work done
9. I prefer shopping alone- mostly I escape from the group if I have to seriously shop
10. I am a poor loser. I cannot bear losing out in an argument or a situation or a game

Friday, January 22, 2010

Do You Like Green Eggs and Ham

That Sam-I-am
Asked another man.
I do not like green eggs and ham
Said the unnamed man
But persisted Sam
Suggesting places where to eat
And "rhyming" partners to share the treat

image courtsey

So Read the book to find if this Sam-I-am
Made "him" like Green eggs & ham

A Gift from ArtNavy
This 50 word cumulative tale is a bit crazy
Composed in Verse
By Dr Suess
A delight to my kids
And they fill in the bits
As I read out this tale
With aplomb as I regale!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Genesis of a Fight

Tejas & Ojas pose for a picSomehow Ojas hurt Tejas (purely intentional while moving his chair or something) and so Tejas raises hell while Ojas hides his face to look innocentTejas still cribbing and Ojas trying to suppress a smile This aggravates Tejas and he takes a swipe at Ojas
Offcourse Ojas retaliates in kind Silence before the storm

Tejas attempts a hit at Ojas who tries to block

Ojas cribs

Ojas tries to bite Tejas' ears

Tejas is still whining while the Dad is sleeping through it all and the Mom is quickly snapping pic after pic

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Did Say Yesterday

That Mid Jan is the most depressing month of the year.
But nothing so bad that a spot of shopping and partying cannot cure and more so because in Chennai it is the best time of the year- a nip in the winds, lovely weather and lots of flowers!
So what did I do to uplift my mood
1. Firstly I am not letting my mood go low due to failed resolutions
So we did the second major round of cleaning and vacuuming and rearranging the home. We washed windows, scrubbed the Air con, changed the kitchen shelf lining and vacuumed the mattresses too. I had to literally restrain the husband as he also wanted to paint the home, bring down my sole crockery cupboard and buy a new wall mounted TV to occupy that blank wall!
2. We added new paintings on another wall
3. We brought in plants - and to my surprise it was the husband who until now would always say throw out your plants, on his own accord brought in the plants
The trailing purple plant is growing in a candle stand and the white terracota pot does not have drainage so I have done a cacti and filia terarrium in that
4. Shopping helps so I went to the Dastakaar haat in Kalakshetra and bought myself a kalamkari lampshade that has been on my wish list for a long time. Otherwise the fair was a replica of last couple of years. I was hoping to find the curently very popular warli iron hangings originating from Ranchi but could not.
The origin of these Kalamkari form of artwork are the leather puppets of Andhra-known as ‘Tholu Bommalata’ in Telugu. Dating back to the 3rd century B.C., these puppets are made of goat leather and handled with bamboo sticks against a brilliant lamp - lit background. The advent of other modes of entertainment caused a decline in patronage of this art so puppeteers have channeled this art into the making of small vases, partition screens, wall decorative and lampshades thereby being a source of livelihood and keeping the tradition alive. The perforation executed on the coloured leather gives an appearance of rich ornamentation against the background of light. The use of light to depict and narrate epics on screen and puppets modeled representing mythological characters created artistically out of leather have contributed to the uniqueness of these wall decorations/ lampshades.

5. Flowers are blooming again in the garden so another reason to feel cheerful 5. I added more cheer and bought a lot of flowering plants
four o clock started blooming, pink & white & red dianthus, deep red dahlia (can you see the holes in the leaves- sob sob- a caterpillar was working on it and ate up this flower in a single night- thankfully I found it before it could wreak further havoc), the pink flowers in the centre- I forget the name- they look like periwinkles but are not...they start with a light pink and go through shades of purple and mauve and rani pink- its truly amazing
The common white periwinkle blooming- picked off the highway and maniacally cared for
Pink Blooms- they almost look artificial- are they gerbera - they don't look like them?

And I picked up 5 more colours of periwinkle in shades grading from light pink to deep red, a crimson petunia, red & yellow pentas and a small Parijaat plant
I am praying everyday that it blooms now!
6. Offcourse nothing is complete without a party! We had a small get together with Art & IBH at home
Among all the most painfully prepared dishes- the major hits were chicken liver, corn masala made from frozen sweet corn and popcorn !

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Things Have Been Silent

as all my earth shattering posts were in the camera and not downloaded.
Research says that Mid Jan is the most depressing period of the year as the holiday and festival season is over
So I spread some festive cheer by updating my overdue Christmas post

Christmas was a "treeat"
This was the tree with the treats under it
Plenty of cakes and homemade brownies to treat our selves withAt school there was a stage program where the boys were the kings (before you ask- they didn't have to really do anything)And they sampled their first "cloud cand there

Monday, January 18, 2010

The One in Which Ojas gets Sarky

Mamma- I am making (potato) smileys for you
Ojas- No. I want sad face
Ojas- Dadda, I want potato smiley
Dadda- first you finish your lunch then I will give you whatever you want
Ojas- you will give Soda?

The One in which Tejas gets houseproud
Mamma gets new foot mats for the bathrooms and gives it to Tejas to arrange
Tejas- flings away the jute foot mat kept in front of the door to the garden- this is dirty- mud mud and replaces with the new one (how do I explain it is supposed to get mud-mud as it catches the garden soil)

Takes another foot mat and neatly places it in front of his tent.

Switches on the bathroom exhaust because Dadda just walked out of the bathroom and therefore the bathroom must be smelling

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sureshot Happiness Boosters-

1. Long lunch (at Radisson Garden cafe) with friend. A grand start to the new year.
2. Buying 5 flowering plants on an impulse- all potted so the fading green thumb doesn't kill them.
3. Having a loooooooong chat across continents with school friend. Just start off from where you last left and the best part is you can just be yourself- we both know what we were in school!! ;)
4. Morning Walk
5. Planning for and gearing up for your next projects - could be simple stuff like hosting dinner or revamping the garden or experimenting to perfect the banana cake (I promise recipe when done!) or tough ones like clearing the kitchen shelves!!
6. Making apple jam!! Because it is the easiest- pressure cook apples and sugar and dry the mix in open pan. Add cinnamon powder and a few drops of lime juice. Or simply microwave them until done.
7. Playing badminton with the spouse on weekend evenings - even though the kids act as the "net" with their own rackets and the neighbour's kid keeps telling the spouse- uncle can I play instead of you!! Atleast you don't get to talk to each other while playing and therefore you don't quarrel. And the upperhand is for you. Everytime the hubby gives a tough serve you can promise him that he doesn't get dinner!

Seven things so there, I have taken care of the entire week!!

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Name Behind the Person

The Aunt- So take down my email id-
Me- blurts stupidly- your name is R? I never knew.
Rather, I should have said truthfully I did not ever think of you beyond "Aunty"
So here goes
How many of you know your Dad's or Mom's aunt's names- beyond Dadi and Nani
Infact I used to call Dad's "door ke rishtey ki" aunt as Peechewaali Dadi as she used to live in the row of houses behind!
How many of you have know what is your neighbour's mom's name- the same person with whom you speak on an almost daily basis
Especially in the South you can extrapolate the Dad's name from an individual's name but the Mom's?
And in the North, where I lived, most women called each other as Mrs Sinha or Mrs Prasad or so on and so forth and most of them did not go beyond that to the first names.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Kids

While on the topic of B@l@tk@rs et al, ..........

The family watching the stylish Shanti serial in DD
Dialogue from boodhi maa- uss Kamesh ko maaf nahin karoongi (or something to that effect)... usne mera B@l@tk@r kiya. so on and so forth- repeat 7723 times in a space of 30 minutes
Kid of the family perplexed & intrigued- yeh upkar kya hota hai?

On the radio the song plays- Towel mein bahar jaogi to halla mach jaega
Kid of the family whose hindi vocab is definitely very strong- yeh Sawan mein bahar jane se halla kyon mach jaega
She- relieved- because everyone will start screaming- you will get wet and fall sick if you go out in the rain

And cut to present
Mamma- when doctor cut your stomach and took Ojas & Tejas out and stitched you- did it hurt you?
Mamma- in an attempt to not gross them out- offcourse not- doctor gave medicine so that it did not pain at all. Quickly adds- but offcourse it will pain if you do it at home and all. Only doctors should do it in the hospital.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

How Did the Tiger Get His Stripes

So Tejas asked me....
And I answered
One day 2 baby tigers was born. They did not have stripes.
One day he say Ojas & Tejas wearing their striped shirt- the yellow and black one & the orange and black one.
They liked it so much that when Mamma had hung it out after washing, they came and pulled the shirts from the clothesline and took them away in their mouths.
They wore them and came showing off in front of Ojas & Tejas
Ojas & Tejas complained to God and God scolded the tiger cubs for stealing
So tiger cubs began to cry- We also want clothes like them
So God took a big paint brush and paint box and painted stripes on the tiger cubs saying now yu need not steal clothes. Give back Ojas' & Tejas' shirts right now

Monday, January 04, 2010

Discoveries in this New Year

The party was our office terrace in Pondy.
We had an amazing chicken biriyani and chicken 65 dinner prepared by our cook. There were other things but I don't know what they were as they were vegetarian
The plum cake sourced from Geeta Bakery in Pondy was awesome. The husband says the guy started from that small hole in the wall shop and owns the entire street now. Just look for that when you go there next.
The husband tok me to another tiny bakery called Fortune Bakery of his younger days and we tasted something called a butterfly bun. a spiral shaped vanilla flavoured fruit bun. It is yumm. And it gets better as you reach the core of the bun- yummier and creamy and sinful.
We also discovered a new store in JN Street called Outfits - has imported & branded westerns for adults & kids. Mostly manufactured in Bangladesh. Picked up lovely shorts and pajamas for the kids
We also saw 3 Idiots in Adlabs... A total fun movie. They have done a great job using the book as a base. Added a lot of entertainment quotient which is otherwise missing in the book. A lot of punchlines and scenes have been picked up from 5 Point Someone though the placements are different. The best ones go to Aamir Khan offcourse.
But the story element - the gold thread that links the Pearls of Wisdom is completely the author's imagination which is the only way this book could succeed as a movie. But we should all know that by now. Look at Harry Potter movies. Aren't so many things different in them?
If I were in Chetan Bhagat's place (Kya Bold Aspiration Hai!) I would be totally justified in wanting my name right at the beginning of the casting and prolly I would have set that up in teh contract whether they would borrow 2 % or 100%- how else would the movie come about if not for the book?
And by the way the popcorn in Adlabs is Rs 50 for a bucket. Heaven!
The movie put me in such a good and relaxed mood that I did not want to rush back to Chennai.
Stayed for another day and came back on Saturday armed with a pink periwinkle (yes I buy that yet again) and a pretty red pentas plant.
Oh, and a gem from Tejas
Mamma- Tejas eat his fish fry
Tejas opens the mouth eagerly and spits the "fish fry" out- ugggh yeh to mutton hai (this is muttom)
Mamma- torn between annoyance at her plans being foiled and pride at her son's taste buds