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Monday, December 31, 2012

Year End Notes

2012 has been a fun filled ride both at work and in personal life.

Right from the word go it was a busy year on the work front. I list out work first because this part worked out very beneficial for me across the board. Most important was I got to go to Europe. (yay!),. yes I am shallow that way. Finally working in this industry I got to go to Paris and also Germany, albeit a small village but still. 

Even as I say so myself, I did manage to pass the test in the (old-new) job and I don't hesitate to add that I hope I successfully proved my worth and was able to make a difference. 

We managed to finally utilize our Club Mahindra membership and had a fun filled drive to Goa. Yes, manzil se acche lagne lage raaste!! The drive was part of the entire fun.

I also started what I call my greatest dream of all. I joined my kids in learning the keyboard. Even if I am not greatly successful, I only hope that my kids will show greatness in it.

Talking of classes, we finally enrolled kids into cricket and drawing classes as well so that our weekends are packed but the routine has helped me run my household and weekend much more smoothly than ever before.

Health came up as my biggest focus and the toughest challenge. No matter what the weight refuses to come down and as a way of lifestyle we have switched to salad lunches on weekend afternoons, I have started carrying my own salad lunch and gymming with great gusto. We have decided not to focus on food hereafter and have greatly cut down on outside food unless needed. 

Here is wishing you all a happy and healthy 2013

Overheard at a Coffee Shop


The mellow sunshine peeked out from behind the grey clouds. It was perfect weather for a cup of hot, frothy coffee with a sprinkling of chocolate vermicelli. So that is exactly where the feet went – to the neighbourhood Barista and as the innermost cockles of the heart were being warmed by the much sought after coffee, the sun emerged, looking for all its worth like a large serving of sunny-side-up.
And then something happened to add to the enjoyment of the moment. A little girls voice piped up with certain questions.
Sitting at the next table, with a large sandwich in front of her, the little girl, her hair in braids, wearing a polka dotted frock and buckled shoes with socks couldn’t have been more than 5 years old. She was bent on quizzing her father, who sat in front of her, distractedly reading the paper and trying to make sure his daughter ate her sandwich at the same time. Here is their conversation, paraphrased, of course.
“Papa,” asked the little one. “Why does mummy shout so much?”
“That’s because you dropped your milk all over the floor, beti, don’t feel bad,” said Papa.
“No, I know, that’s why she shouted. But she shouts at me a lot.”
There’s a silence while Papa tried to think of a suitable response. She pipes up again, in the meantime.
“She never shouts at Bhai, though. She only shouts at me. He tore my dress last week and she blamed me. She sometimes shouts at you too, I’ve noticed.”
“Bhai is much smaller than you, darling, that is why Ma doesn’t shout at him. He won’t understand. Because he is so very naughty, that is why Ma is tired all the time and I think that is why she gets angry easily. You must not let it hurt you,” replied Papa.
“Maybe Ma does not love me as much as she loves Bhai,” sulked a petulant little girl.
“You are very special my darling, you are our first child! How can you say that?”
“How do you know?”
“She told me, she tells me that every day. That you are such a good girl, you do your homework, you look after Bhai and you listen to us.”
The voice was full of happiness.
“Yes really. Now finish your sandwich and we will go home.”
“Do you know, that day, I saw how Dadi gave Bhai two big rasgullas from the pot Mona Aunty brought that day. She had one and did not offer Ma. Bhai had two, Ma did not even eat one. Why didn’t Dadi give Ma? I have seen she is angry with Ma often. Does she love her too? Like Ma loves me but she is angry with me?
“Nani is never angry or mean to Ma like Dadi is. Why is that? Nani also loves Ma but she is never angry with her.”
“You talk too much, finish your sandwich and let’s go,” said a flustered father, unable to explain the dynamics between a mother-in-law and a daughter-in-law and why a wife who is constantly burdened with work and a naughty toddler would be irritable all the time.
“Can we take some apple cake back for Ma? She likes sweet things, and this will make her less angry. I won’t give it to Dadi but, she didn’t let Ma eat the rasgulla that day.”
“Ok, ok. What a little chatterbox you are...come, let’s go pack cake for your Ma and then we have to run home.”
The little girl skipped out, holding her father’s hand – snug in the knowledge that she can do something, however small a gesture, to soothe her mother’s wrath. The lukewarm coffee tasted a bit sweeter in her wake.
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Feedback from School

This PTM meeting, the feedback from school was not very great.
While the academics part was good, the class participation was not so great.

The teachers insisted that I have not been spending enough time with the children and that is evident.

They have not been studying their home notes which is why the class participation is not there.

Tejas had made a card for his teacher who was leaving school. The contents were-

Mam, I cannot read home notes because my mother is in office.

While one part of me wanted to take a picture for facebook, the rational side of me stopped just in time else the teacher would think I am extremely shameless. 

I had been moping around the entire day and confided to my friends on this and Dotmom dear wrote a wonderful mail to me which made me feel immediately better.

I quote an edited version and I am going to hold these lines close to my heart so that I can read and draw courage from it every time guilt strikes me. 

"Make it known to the teacher that you work and that you expect kids to do homework on their own. If you are not proud of who you are, your kids are not going to be proud. So stop feeling the guilt. You are an amazing mom and you have a career, not a job. Be proud of your accomplishments and stop apologizing to yourself, your sons and the world."

So as Dottie says, henceforth I am going to tell myself and the sons that-

"I am smart and I love my job and I am fortunate to have a good job that allows us to take vacations and will pay for your college. I work because my mind won't get any exercise at home."

It is amazing how these few sentences made me feel immensely better. While I do take the feedback and need to work together with the husband in focusing on their studies but I am not going to get that feeling of self doubt again. And neither am I going to compromise on work or extra curricular activities like the gym just because I need to study with the kids.

In class 2, I was matured enough to do my homework and knew that I had to study. I need to push that concept in the kids' mind that all is not fun and games once they are back from school.

I somehow feel that perhaps the old way of teaching and exams and homework made the students more responsible for their performance rather than the current style which makes home work a weekend thing and tests and exams never happen. There are only assessments. 

However, this is a choice that we have made and I need to make it work. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Cheer

From The Sweet Story.

The chocolates are delicious with little Christmas symbols iced on them. Tejas loved the socks.

And of course I went for the mistletoe.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cup Cakes

So here come the promised cup cakes. 3 eggs and 200g each of the cake ingredients make 18 cupcakes in these lovely silicone moulds.

The micro time was combi mode, medium power, 180C temperature and 4 minutes for a batch.

I leave the pics to speak .
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

IPad woes

So the husband has been very generous and has given me his old ipad.

Since he got a new one for himself, the kids rightly assumed the old one will not be taken to office and they searched all the likely hiding places for it.

So the story so far is that even I have not been able to use it because if I take it out, I will never be able to get it from them.

Since the end result is always me not being able to use it I have let status quo remain.
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All Set

With these lovely silicon cake moulds. Watch this space for cup cakes.
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Movie Watching with Kids Then and Now

Then- objectives were to eat popcorn, kurkure, chips, drink water, go to the loo and maybe watch movie sometimes on their seat and sometimes on our laps. They would also walk from one seat till the last as we would usually take an empty row for our family. They would sometimes shut their eyes and ears due to the noise.

Now- Objectives are

1. to watch movie and ask loud questions like what will happen in the end. We watched Life of Pi last week and I was plied with questions of this nature multiple times. Finally I said I don't know. Says Ojas- you have read the book, you should know.
Said Mamma- This is different from the book.
after a while...
Ojas- why did this happen
Me- because it is written in the book
Ojas- you only said the book and movie are different.

2. Eat popcorn, chips and the loudly ask for the hot dog which I did not give him for a bite. Continue asking for hot dog till the very end of the movie.

3. When I explain everything is acting not real, they say, But I am not afraid.

4. On seeing the lion and goat scene
Woh Mutton ban gaya?

5. ask random questions about other characters. What happened to the mother? 
I said - she is on a different boat.
Ojas- why didn't they show her
Me- because this is Pi's story
Ojas- why did they select Pi's story for movie and not teh Mother's 

6. Next day and till many days later, ask the name of the characters repeatedly.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Magical Number 9

The Anniversary lunch was done at Kabab Factory. Of course I had promised myself that I will not go there because it had become so exorbitant. But the weekend offer had a child free for every two adults and they were charging only half for the other child. Their half rate for children is usually a moving target. Some times they charge half sometimes they charge nothing until 8 years or sometimes they say pay for only one child. Which is why I always ask and then book. 
Anyway it was fun and the food was awesome as usual. 6 Kababs, 2 lamb, 2 chicken, a fish and a prawn apart from usual biriyani etc and a platter of desserts including interesting ones like kulfi and cashew kheer.

The sorbet was very popular with the kids and the anise flavoured afghani bread and the saffron flavoured bread was very popular with yours truly.
The lamb chops were a disappointment as they were only chops no lamb meat. 

Apart from that, a key board was purchased which has been untouched by the kids so far. I guess I will have to move my backside and get myself a teacher too. 

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

On Reading

I always say that God's worst and cruelest joke on me is that my kids do not really love books as much as I do. 

In all fairness to me, I have read to them at bedtime, I have surrounded them with books and they have shown a lot of interest in books atleast up to the age of 4.

As they grew older, the interest seemed to peter off at the same rate as i was adding books to their collection.

However, prompted by a TV cartoon, they got interested in Jack and the Beanstalk. Yes do not be horrified, they are not at all well versed with fairy tales or nursery rhymes. In fact I have never heard them tell a story or a fable nor have I ever heard them recite a nursery rhyme. They do not know nursery rhymes. Unless I count the "Hadde dillo dillo" they used to say in Junior KG for Hey Diddle Diddle.

Anyway, I digress.

After I read them Enid Blyton's wishing chair and half story of Jack and the Beanstalk, (they slept before I could finish it), I notice they are bringing me books to read at bedtime. Their major interest is to read space encyclopedia, Ocean etc otherwise. 

They saw me reading Life of Pi and immediately narrated the entire story from what they have gathered seeing the trailers during their TV watching. 

So the interest in watching Life of Pi is very high and since it is based on a book, I am also very happy about it. 

So what is the verdict on the Movie? The book is very good. 

Friday, November 30, 2012


Last is sunday we enrolled the kids into cricket coaching. The husband being a cricket fan and player....(which Indian man is not, I ask), he insisted that cricket coaching should happen.

The coach insists that this should be done twice a day on both weekends and the husband is eager to do it.

The place is less than 10 minutes away but the husband doesn't want to budge after dropping them.

The day began last week with me being rudely awakened at 5.38 am even before the kids are awakened, to get the kids ready for cricket. Where does this alacrity go on school days I ask.

Not to forget the huge kit that has been purchased, kit bag, bat, gloves, pads, helmet, attire, footwear, and th guards and support most importantly. The kids believe they look very smart in the helmet.

The coaching begins and ends with 2 circuits of the playground which is done very lazily. Here you can see the kids running around the huge ground.

And it works this way. They are allowed to go to cricket only if they go to keyboard classes and continue with their drawing classes.

Fingers crossed.
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Kartik Deepam

On this day we got married therefore this festival is very close to my heart.

The Kids Sid their prayer...ommmm as they stood in front of the Ganesh idol surrounded by lamps.

Candle lamps. Mind it. Keeps it simple and mess free.
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Ojas-if we shave a tiger, will the stripes still remain
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Height of Trying to Trick

Tejas- Mamma tell me the password, I will use only now. Not again.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Toothy travails and tales

In quick succession the upper incisors fell.

While I knew that their upper incisors were not in the best condition, I was shocked to see the black spots on the sides like they show in the colgate ad.
So they don't actually look endearing like pearls but horrific pomegranate seeds which have seen better days.
I am wondering whether the permanent dentures would also be affected or prone to the affliction.

Any dentists out there among my dear readers who could help me please?
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For the first time the kids were interested in bursting crackers.
While I understand the need to be green and the child labour angle I couldn't deny them the fun and pleasures of the colourful lights and the thrill of setting them off.

What do I do? We kept it to bare minimum but that doesn't really do much.

How do we compensate?

Can I do something else to make it up for the pollution caused?

Any thoughts?
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Happy Diwali

Lighting up the ghar dwaar and aangan....
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

4 down

And what a big window
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Friday, November 09, 2012

Watch Fight

Ojas & Tejas fight over a single watch.

Mamma tries hard to make them negotiate until the truth comes out.

Ojas- I don't want that watch. Paati farted on it.

Tejas- She did not fart on it. She just sat on it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Following Suit

He managed to rescue this from going down the drain.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

3rd down

And this one I managed to preserve.

The Paris and Holzminden Trip Update

September I was in Paris for a global conference and being the first time to Europe in my conscious senses, I took a very nice camera (not). My N8 camera was the only one that served me well during this trip.

This is the dear little place I stayed for a couple of days. My husband's family and this is where I saw my first apple tree and a sprawling garden full of flowers and fruits.

 I traveled Emirates and landed on Saturday night. After spending a very restless night we finally took off to see Paris. For the first time in my life, shopping was not on my agenda. I was more interested in walking the very streets and seeing the very sights that I have so far only read about.

We did the famous Avenue - Champs Elysees 

And took the metro to Charles de Gaulle

Yes Street musicians do exist in Europe..I always thought they were a little fancy but nothing  really fancy about them, they really are possibly homeless and singing or playing for alms. 

The Sacre Cour Church. We were too lazy to take the steps so took the elevator. 
 The Invalides church. Like an army cantonment.
 With Napolean's tomb. I could feel the sense of history flowing through me.
 And finally the Eiffel Tower. The highlight of my trip. We stood in the queue for the tickets however they closed the summit.
 So we and that's the husband's cousin and me went to sit by the Siene and wait for the lights and sparkling lights to come on and just took in the sight.
 Driving past the Louvre
The Notre dame church by which we had dinner next evening with our office colleagues.
 An interesting display with a flower behind a bulb. the rotation of the bulb created an enchanting pattern.

 The last day of my trip. We went back to Eiffel Tower and climbed the 600 plus steps to make it to the top. While it was exhausting and sometimes scary to look down, the breathtaking view from the top made it worthwhile. If I were to do it again, I would certainly do it on foot.
 Homesick in Paris? No problem? You can just walk straight and you will reach India.
 The Louvre. Another must visit...
 If only it was to just meet Monalisa
 In Holzminden, we stayed at a lovely hotel with rooms built to German size. Quite a contrast from the matchbox size rooms in Paris.
This is one of the patterns that I found were repeated quite often in the houses there.
 The scenic drive between hotel and office.
And final destination for shopping was the Dubai airport for me!!! 

Thursday, November 01, 2012

And the Birthday Party

Was total madness. In cold blooded fashion I decided to do a painting party because 7 is all about colours.

And not just any ordinary painting. T shirt painting.

The return gifts were these very same masterpieces however the kids expected a concrete return gift which cheapo aunty me did not provide.

The preparation involved buying various sizes t shifts , 2 dozens of them including infant sized ones where their sailings could paint for them.

Buying paints, brushes and assembling other items for painting like ear buds, plastic knife, toothbrush, toys with shapes to stamp the design in a pattern.

T shirts came with their cardboards but we also inserted newspapers so that colours did not stick to the backside.

My original plan was to create ink lot designs, sprinkle paint drops and fold the t shirt lengthwise and open to get a random design.

However the kids would have none of that. They insisted they paint themselves and it was heartening to see the kids go all crazy with their own concepts. For once mine did not stick with each other but were on different tables with their friends.

The cake was great tasting with a disastrous rukando design which looked like a cross between Hanuman's langot and a devils horn, and so it is best forgotten and unphotographed. 

The food was street food concept Chole bhature, dahi vada, samosa, chicken 65, gulab jamun, ice
cream, juice.

I am not sure whether the kids will end up wearing their masterpieces but I think it was worth the experience.

What I could have done better was,
A) done the party in the afternoon so that they could play afterwards and once the t shirt would dry they could wear that for the cake cutting which was my original plan anyway however since they did not dry and it would add to the logistics it would be crazy.

B) added a piñata or a small return gift as the kids like that the best and I couldn't because I was too tired to even think of what gift to buy and manage the logistics of changing numbers of guests.

C) I wish I could have done he ink lot design as that would give it a neat finish however then the kids wouldn't have had the experience of painting the same.

The adults were around to help them with ideas and they put their names and some even put their phone numbers on the t shirt apart from a thumb or palm print.

Happy 7th

A friend says this is one anniversary (motherhood anniversary) that will not give the 7 year itch!

So a quick one to say that my babies, even though I scream at you like all the time, I still love you as much as I did 7 years ago.

Even though I cannot stand you guys for more than a few hours, I still miss you when I am travelling or at work.

My heart gives a pang everytime you walk away to the class and I think, wish I could have been a silent and far off observer while you did your own thing at school.

A few milestones that we achieved this year...
 Two lower incisors fell off for both at the same time and the upper incisors are loose for both. Tejas' one incisor has dropped off and is currently safe in my car!

I did a 10 day official trip, a first in terms of being away from my babies.

Ojas today assembled a scientific toy rocket on his own just seeing the manual. 

The kids prefer to stay home and play rather than go out with us.

We tried to instill the display of affection by designating an official bedtime huggy time between the brothers.

The birds and the bees are being observed with observations like girls like boys!!

 This time they sat up till 00 hours because they new that with the turn of the clock their birthday arrives.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Culture Curry Teaches Hindi

If you are at a loss to finding a fun wy to teach hndi to your children above 2 years, culture curry is the apt place for has launched a new application available in iTunes stre. It is an interactive Hindi learning application which introduces early learners to all the Hindi alphabets in a fun manner. The flash cards are interactive, touch a clock and the alarm rings. 

Each flash card further introduces more words and concepts like the six sides of a hexagon is further used to teach colours. Or the basket of fruits is used to teach the various fruits therefore the app does not rely n a straightforward method of just teaching a word at a time but also acts exactly as a parent or teacher would. Explode the picture into parts and patterns and further build on the same. 

There is also a section on tracing the letters in four different chalk colours and even erasing them. 

 A fun and catchy tune gives the background thus adding a music to the sound dimension of the learning.

 The app is priced at $1.99 in the US and accordingly in other regions.

About Culture Curry

Culture Curry was conceived to help children and parents connect with their Indian heritage. Taking advantage of new technologies like tablets and smart phones, it aims to provide healthy, fun and supportive tools, which will bring you and your child closer to your culture. 

If you would like further information on Let's Learn Hindi!, or you would like to schedule an interview, please contact :




Twitter: @culturecurryapp

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Violence Against Women Awareness Month: October 2012

It's October and once again, we're talking about Violence Against Women.

Please join our Violence Against Women Awareness Month 2012. You can

'Like', share and join our discussions on Facebook
Tweet, retweet and share our conversations on Twitter
Join the blogathon and follow all VAWM news on our blog

As always, you are welcome to share your stories, insights or any other information by emailing us at -- requests for confidentiality or anonymity will be respected.

If you have problems with the badge code from the blog, download and then post the badge image and link it to the blog. It takes a minute more but it's just as effective.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nosey Boy

Tejas-are you making prawn
Mamma- how do you know?
Tejas- I got the smell

Maa ka beta hai! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Response to Mum's the Word

Post the article got published in Hindustan Times-
Both Sunayana and Kiran did their take on their blogs and I really thought that was a good idea and hence here we are.

Manjula had sent us some very pertinent questions to be answered and some of them touched upon my favourite result of blogging, the community of mommy bloggers and their support system. Yes we never met in the real world at the time we started blogging but over time, we conducted blog meets in our cities, mobilised people and began to find commonalities in attitudes and therefore we became friends beyond the blog world.

 I started my blog primarily to record memories of my children and soon it graduated to become an extension of me. Food, shopping, weight mangement, books, my home, my office, my career, my garden, my extended family

Will I ever stop blogging about my kids?  I am not sure a Mom can ever stop talking about her kids. But I am not sure how long I will continue to blog about them. It all depends on them if they object from a privacy point of view. If not the blog, I will find some other medium. Like FB. It is not just recording the life of my kids, it is also about sharing their antics with the family, their grandparents, aunts, uncles who don't get to see them on a regular basis. 

2006 was a great place to be in the blog world. We were a large community of Mommy bloggers. Those same names are still active. Either blogging about the kids or other things of interest. I aspire to continue as long as possible. As a medium it gives me more creative width than a social networking site.

May the Mommy blogger tribe live on!!

Rivo Kids

I recently came across this lovely site called which covers fun stuff to do with kids like science experiments, art and craft and also has a section called meethi memories which can help one make an online scrap book.

I loved the experiment - see water walk. ( A simple experiment which will help children understand science concepts.

The website is easy to operate.

Go on, check it out. 

Creating MeethiMemories or ParentPicks : It's as Easy as 1..2..3.. Let us show you how...
Step 0 : Sign up for an Account at RivoKids. It takes only a minute.
For MeethiMemories...
Login to your Account. Set up your kids (name/birthdate/gender)
Create a Meethi Memory. You can send us your MeethiMemories (Text and/or Pics) via website, email or SMS. Watch your beautiful Memory Book take shape.
View your child's Memory Book. You can select a template for your Memory Book from our beautiful professionally designed Template Gallery.
That's it!! Enjoy!. You can Share or Print your MeethiMemory Books. No downloading 
of bulky software or waiting for hours for the photo book editing tool to load.
For ParentPicks...
Once you've signed up, Log Into your account.
If there is a game, activity, or website that you and your child love, Click here to create a ParentPick.
Choose a category for your ParentPick. Type in the name of your ParentPick and why you like it and then Click to Submit