Monday, March 21, 2011

Holi Hai!

Seriously, I have never celebrated Holi, to this level ever before. The last time I remember doing anything close to Holi was when I warned friends that they cannot put color on my hair, or most of my face other than my forehead and clothes was a strict no-no. In spite of which some of them got some color on my cheek and I promptly played spoil sport. I mean, come on ya, I am a South Indian, what did you expect? Have you ever seen or celebrated anything south Indian with loud music or dance or color? Other than of course the weekly temple loudspeakers that aimed at making people living close to the temple deaf. We believe in doing a Pooja for everything and make every festival as stuffy and boring as possible. Look at our weddings for example and compare it to a Punjabi wedding...thanks, I rest my case.

As we drove to the temple yesterday I recollected to G about my Holi experiences. I had read it in my CBSE Hindi text book at school. I say CBSE because I am sure the State Board Hindi syllabus might have  have gladly omitted such acts of color throwing. I wondered how those hand pumps would look and what people did after all the colorful mess?

Then of course there was the instance of stupid idiots on a bike who threw color on my neatly pressed school uniform. I had no idea who these guys were and I had just finished my plus two boards, literally the last day at school for my entire life, before I started college. I was  walking back with my girl friends (two Northi's and two Southi's) and we were drenched in colors. I had plans for that afternoon, the evening and the night and here I was with oil color on my face and my uniform. "Hell, this is still Tamilnadu," my friends screamed at those guys. I abused them in the newly learned words intermittently spitting out color. I hated Holi because I could not get the colors off my skin and I looked so funny because in Chennai you stuck out like a sore thumb when you went out colorful on Holi because those days only a few people knew about it.

Later, I avoided Holi, the bad experience remained in my head. I was the fussy one who hid and did a drama if anyone came close to me with color. I always wondered how people wanted to get nasty and what a mess it would be at home. I was the Holi snob.

Last year, G convinced me to go to the temple with him to see what was happening. Babs was 2.5 years old and she was just recovering from a mild fever. It had been raining the whole day and when we got there we saw people having fun. There was music, dancing and colors in spite of the downpour. I took a recovering Babs and danced a bit and requested people not to color us because we did not want to get dirty, and shocking! Everyone obliged. So we got out of the temple with just Tikka's on our forehead. I loved it. Just the music and dancing made it worth it. So we decided that we will try and making it in 2011.

And we did. G and I wore an old white tee and jeans, Babs wore her cute but short-now white halter dress. We got there with the colors and met with another friend who had bought water guns with her for the kids. By the time we left the place, we were all unrecognizable. We danced, we sang, the kids played with each other and we had a blast. Babs loved it. She asked me if she could go and play Holi again the next day...Sorry love, you gotta wait another year. But before that we have tons of things to celebrate....like for instance your mother's birthday Tomorrow!!! :)

Happy (Belated) Holi...Finally I let myself go and did not stop anyone when the color came my way and I did not spare anyone either. There was a certain sense of camaraderie, no stranger doused me unless otherwise they did a visual non-verbal permission check. It was fun, if you are in Dallas next year, maybe you should also join us!

Love
ART

PS: Really sad to see Rafa loose to Djokovic in the Indian Wells finals. But then Djoker did play awesomely well and somehow Rafa was just ok...could have been better. Anyways...it is another year of seriously Vamosing for me! and Rafa please do something and get back on track...

Friday, March 04, 2011

The year so far!

Can you imagine that two months of 2011 has already rushed past us and I have nothing to report? At all? I mean seriously. This is the first year since Babs has started school full-time that I barely have time to spend with her. Weekends go with me planning how to keep her entertained. I got told off by her teacher during the last PTA that I was stressing the child out teaching her stuff at home. She insisted that I should do nothing but read books to her and play with her, teaching was for school and her job. Well I am a Desi mom, sue me! So anyway, I have tried to take the teachers advice, stopped Babs from memorizing world capitals, right now she knows all the 50 states plus a few countries and thats all. I have taught her to identify landmarks around the world (but please do not tell the teacher that), and yes, I constantly talk to her about stuff in the world, like planets, how Pluto is a bechara (demoted from being planet) and just stuff.

So ya, weekends have gotten difficult, I have to keep her mentally and physically active, so ya, end result? She sleeps on time so G and I get our TV time and eating in silence time without little hands digging into our plate. So now when I look back, I am like, what the hell? We are in March? Already? And I am going to get a year older already? What the hell?

Of course we had her grandparents and cousin stay with us for the first two weeks in Jan, then we did have the great snow week, and then ya we had the trip to Houston for her cousin's birthday. The memorable part? We both fell sick on the way back. Seems like an epidemic, about 7 or 8 of us at work were out and Babs had this awful cold just like the one I had and people who we visited in Houston? you ask? Of course my niece and nephew are sick as is their mother. So ya, we are all sick in different parts of the state. No wonder I have no clue when 2011 started and where we are now.

But anyway, things to look forward to?? Well my birthday comes just 11 days after the release of Ipad 2...husband, if you are reading this...*hint* *hint* *wink*

And btw, getting back to the cold again, my left nostril is flared, thanks to all the nose-blowing now people can spot me from miles away like they can spot Rudolph (the red nosed reindeer...duh!) ya. I hate colds, allergies and all of them with a passion.

Speaking of hate...well guess what else I would declare I hate? Insects, I do not wish to discriminate anything, so even if you are the cutest butterfly or the sweetest looking lady bug, screw you, I hate you and I will wail, scream and flail my arms around trying to keep you from my face. Are you wondering why I am talking about insects??? IT IS OFFICIALLY SPRING in Texas and from now through the next winter it is a bug fest here. Bugs I have never seen in India ever!

And since last year, I have started to enjoy outdoors a bit, like run a bit and stuff like that, these insects hinder my enjoyment a lot. I think I know that one of these days, a bug will run into me (I will never run into a bug!) and I will freak out, jump onto the road from the sidewalk, and then a car will crash into me (yes, I will never crash into a car ever either!). And that thought keeps my bug watchout even stronger.

So apart from the fun stuff that has already passed us by, the next few months show me the promise of a bug-filled, allergy-filled, months! How I wished that all of spring could be compressed into a week so that the rest of the year people can walk around before reminding themselves to take zyrtec or claritin?

I told you, I am sick, dayquil does make one write a rant post like this...not my fault, you can call dayquil and complain to them! I am high on it while I write it. When I tell you I am feeling better, if you ask me, it is because I had just taken the drug, if you ask me 8 hours later, I will give you the correct feeling I am experiencing...CRAP!

Ya ya, I am not the first one to get a cold! Thank you.

Gotta go! Weekend waiting ahead.

Love
ART

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Small Things

There are so many small things happening around me but among all that Babs is growing up. She is growing up very fast.

When we were snowed in a month ago, G got up every morning, took a shower, got dressed just as if he was going to work. It was not until he actually stepped out that he got an email or call asking him to work from home. On one of the days Babs woke up and saw her dad all ready to go to work and she said in a very serious voice with a serious face, "Papa, aap bahar jaake slip hoke ghir sakte ho, ya ghar pe baitke kham kar sakte ho, aapka choice hai. Mujhe kuch farak nahin padtha hai." G and I burst out laughing. Now that is exactly what we tell her when she is not listening to us.

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She loves to sing Old Mac Donald with her mom and pop included in it. So the rhyme goes...

"and on that farm he had a Babbi, eeyah....here a crying, there a crying...

and on that farm he had a papa. Eeyaah....here a laptop kham kham there a laptop kham kham...

and on that farm he had a amma, eeyah...here a barthan saaf there a barthan saaf..."

Ya, her father is always on the laptop and I am always cleaning the house...sometimes barthan saaf is replaced with jadoo maar or kapda fold.

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Babs was playing with her uncle (who is all of 6 years old) at her cousin's birthday party when both of them decided that it would be fun to hide under a crib in the guest bedroom. I glare at Babs from afar. She walks up to me coy and all that jazz and asks me with a pleading face, "Amma can we hide under the crib?" I obviously think I am super smart and that too with so many other mothers around me decided that I will show the sleight of my mothering and said, "Babs, you can do whatever you want but just so you know I will be upset." Babs stares at me for a second and runs towards Ansh screaming her lungs out, "Amma said we can go under the bed."

I lost.

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Many more things she does but I do not remember all of them though G and I laugh our hearts our like nobody's business. She is ready to advice me or G and she never lets me advice her without her interrupting me. The other day I was telling her, "Babs you should not bite your nails because nails have germs tucked between skin and nail..." She cut me off quickly and continued telling me, "And germs are bad because they hurt your stomach."

I stared at her sharply and told her, "Babs do not interrupt me when I am talking to you or advising you. Always wait for me to finish or if you desperately have to interrupt say 'excuse me' before you start."

She sat through listening to all that and me telling her about the nail story once again. When she assumed that I had finished she turned my face to face her and asked me, "Are you done? Can I speak now?" and continued with her advice about germs and how they can hurt.

I could not hold back laughter past that point.

Love you loads.

Amma