Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Just Because!

Babs: Mom can you spell "Aphrodite" for me?
Me: Why?
Babs: So that I can listen to that song on YouTube.
Me: Babs I have told you, you cannot go and use YouTube without me next to you.
Babs: Yes, Amma, I am only going to hear the song not see the video.
Me: Still...
Babs: But how do you spell the word?
Me: Nope, not saying it. Not going to let you watch a Ri Ri song without me.
Babs: Amma, it is Katy Perry, not Ri Ri.

Me: *Face Palm*

Ever since she learnt to spell I am worried about her YouTube use. Previously she would make me type the searches but now she can do it on her own. And most song she wants to hear, have videos that are not "Amma" approved. My old phone that is now her phone does not have a lock for kids on the apps. I am always afraid that she will see something that is not age appropriate but she is a good kid.

So she has learnt to bike, of course. Which is followed with intense practice every day. She is so aggressively trying to master it that it was difficult to say "Pack up" to her yesterday even when the wind was turning cold and the sun was setting.

I surprised Babs this week in school by dropping in for lunch with her. The look on her face was priceless. I was a little worried that she might be sad that I had not taken her favorite lunch (Chick-Fil-A) and instead made her eat her father packed lunch box. But she disappointed me by telling me, "I am happy you are here. I don't care about Chick-Fil-A." That was a proud Amma moment for me.

Babs has also promised me that she will live with me when she goes to college. Let's see if that holds up!!!


Monday, April 28, 2014


I have kept small notes on when Babs rolled over, stood, or walked, or talked and other such milestones written down in a small book. Most of those were seen by her baby sitter before me but I refused to acknowledge those dates. For me, it was important when I saw her do something first. That is the only way a working mom can relate to those firsts. Babs has always been a super independent child. She was on her own from three months and to this date she rarely throws me into a guilt trip for being a working mom. Most of the trips I have are on my own accord. She always seems to understand when I say, "I am sorry, I cannot make it."

I digressed and now coming back to track. Yesterday, I witnessed a milestone. One that I can proudly say, "I was there when it happened, and this one, for sure, happened in front of me first!" My brother and I took Babs out yesterday for a bike ride. I had done this twice in the past few months. I am too lazy to bend down and hold her. So I had told her to scoot herself around and figure balance out. She is an ice skater after all and balance should come naturally now for her. While she balanced, she went through a lot of frustration especially if we were on an up slope.

Last evening was different, my brother was there. The 6'-2" brother of mine did not hesitate to bend down to Babs level to help her out. After three or four times of holding her bike, she put two and two together and biked. All on her own. We could not stop our excitement. She went around the big parking island in her school four times. She was ecstatic. She would fall off or abruptly stop and drop the bike at the end but she rode on her own. No one holding, self starting and pedaling with all the excitement in the world. Finally, another milestone has been ticked off and this was witnessed by me yesterday.

Proud Amma ART

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It is not Boo-Da!

You go through the pains of getting a tattoo. You are proud of it and flaunt it off saying, "I got a Boo-da on my left arm and a lotus on my right." And I cringe hearing it. I want to get up slap you awake and tell you, "Dumb ass, it is Buddha! not Buda, or Booda or Budda, it is Buddha." Looks like most of the people who want to show their "International" style or their love for everything pseduo exotic learn to say "Namaaaastey," with an annoying "yoga class" accent. Neither of them know what they are saying or if they are trying to say it right. If they only have to learn two words in a foreign language can't they learn to say it correctly?

I am tired of fighting the "Tumeric" battle and explaining that yoga is Indian but does not mean all Indians know how to do it or care for it as much as the yoga-mat-carrying-yoga-pant-wearing westerner. But, this is what 1 billion people can do, they can say Namastey correctly and know how to say Buddha without desecrating his name!


Friday, April 11, 2014

The Buzz, the Look, and the Swipe

Scenario: You are in the middle of a decent conversation. The one that you got a chance for after a long wait. It was the conversation that you were waiting to have. You are about to deliver the punchline, when you hear it and the other person feels it. In his pant pocket or her purse. They pick it up to see, while you wait hoping, please let it be a text. Your chances dwindle as they think a second to pick it up or not, in other words, are you important enough to ignore the call or not. Then they swipe to answer it and you are left to politely walk away giving the person their privacy to take a call.

That is how most conversations go. Thanks to cell phones, it is easier to avoid conversations. The smart phones allow us to stare into a screen while riding an elevator avoiding eye contact or politeness with other riders. It gives us a chance to be pull our anti-social self out. We let everyone know their place and our own. In a public space, staring into the screen gives you a feeling of  importance. In a conversation you let the other person know if they are important or not depending on your choice to answer or ignore the incoming call. If nothing else, you can pick up the phone, place it on your ear and act as if you are on a call to avoid someone.

Is this helping us? or not? I am not sure. Though I have done all of the above a gazillion times and I am sure I will continue to do over and over. Do I love it? Yes, when I do it and hate it when I got trumped by a phone. In spite of all the cribbing, this is here to stay, our future where we can have fun with our smart phone and people beyond the screen ignoring the ones standing right in front of us.

Ignoring ART

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


So glad that it is finally spring. Time to drop the jackets and resort to simple spring cheaters. There is some rain here and there and always a cool breeze. I brace up to it before it all vanishes away into the heat of Dallas. The mornings are still crisp but the evenings pleasant. It is not yet time for us to open a bottle of wine and sip it in the backyard by the pool but it is getting there. Babs cannot wait to jump into the pool and G cannot wait to grill. I on the other hand am praying that all the pollen allergies should disappear from the world.

As much as spring brings happiness it also bring sniffling, that leads to some infection, therefore fever and a headache (literal and metaphorical). The entire house is under the curse of the sniffles, sneezes and the cough. I am tired of replenishing the tissue box and the allergy medicines. I have spent two days at home sleeping it off and so did Babs. G on the other hand is braving it and making it to work.

I am so torn between being happy that winter is over and we have longer days now and sad that spring is the advent of nosies!

Oh well! Welcome Spring. We cannot wait to get in shorts and tees!

Sniffling ART

Friday, April 04, 2014

Lunchbox and other such pretension!

I invest my time to watch a movie. The director and the wine glass holding-art show going-Tchaikovsky talking people call it art. I, on the other hand am the front bencher. The one that whistles as soon as Rajni comes into frame or screams in glee to see Sallu's shirt rip away from him. I never try to cross the border. There is a strong line and I do not see myself standing across the room. I like simple things, easy to understand things. My brain likes to see a problem, solve it, and move on to the next. I cannot linger at one point trying to figure out what all a single blob on a canvas represents. Maybe that is why I am an architect and not an artist.

Once in a while, we all tend to slip. It is important to understand that these slips can be fatal. Like the time I slipped and saw Dobhi Ghat. If I have to come up with the ending myself then I will write my own story, thank you. Or if you do not know how to end a movie, leaving it open ended makes it sound arty...

The most recent transgression was "Lunch Box." Critically acclaimed and all the deal, it had Irffan Khan, Nawazuddin. What could go wrong? Well what could? The story. Yes, that is what went wrong. This was "You've Got Mail" in a friggin' lunch dabba. That's what it was. "Kadhal Kottai," in Hindi in a tiffin box or the irreplaceable Beladingala Baale which will always remain as my favorite Kannada Movie.

All these great legendary movies, yes, that is what they are because they had an ending, were done so richly. There was never a claim to great acting prowess or tones of age on the coloring of the movie to prove genius, they all had a story that was being told or retold in a simple way. No one wanted to claim rights to the wine glass holding-art show going-Tchaikovsky talking people. They just wanted to be a movie, a story, an expression of love. The movie was bigger than the stars. There was no pretension. That is the point. The lack of pretension made these other movies more watchable than "Lunch Box."

So, if you have time to spare, I will watch some no-brain-needed-to-enjoy movie like a Sallu starrer than this one. Waste of time, and in the end you are left hungry and missing the childhood where amma packed your yummy dabbas to school.

An irate ART

PS: It is not a terrible movie but it just made me super disappointed. I did not like the way it ended because I am a romantic at heart (oops spoiler alert). These are my opinion only and nope, they cannot be changed.

Kalyana Samayal Sadham (Tamil Movie)

There is a time in life when you are a teenager and all you remember is dressing up and rushing with your parents from one wedding to another. There are times you wish you had not been invited. The endless smiling and acknowledging headnods to people you do not remember and mixing up names from the wedding you were at last night. The politics, the egos, the dresses, the jewelry and the comparisons, I could have done without. What I would have missed out on and still miss is the food. Each wedding competes at adding better food to their menu, the service, and just the smell of Kalayana Samayal...hmmm....there is a memory and a tune associated with this experience. The tune?? of course, the nadaswaram music. Aha! Besh Besh!

When I heard the title of this Tamil movie, I thought it would be all about the South Indian wedding, the dresses, the drama, and damsel in distress. How wrong was I? Like totally. 

This was the freshest of the fresh movies I have seen in a while. A movie dealing with a sensitive topic but handled so beautifully and in a mature way. Fussy girl gets engaged to a straight forward boy. Both fall in love in their pre-wedding phase and decide to do"it." While they are at it, they realize that the boy has a problem, yes, erectile dysfunction. This topic could have not been handled in a better way than this movie has. It is funny, silly, serious, and sensitive. There is a message and it is conveyed with maturity. The boy is vulnerable, the girl is sensible, and together they mature with their love. 

even if you cannot understand Tamil, you should see this movie with subtitles, or come over, and I can be your subtitles :)

And this is how good entertainment should be.

Happy ART

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Field Trip, Holi and the Drinks!

Finally the Field Trip day came, maybe not soon enough for the kids. I was freaking out because I never claimed that I was awesome with kids. I can take care of mine just fine but other's kids? With a lot of fear in my heart I got dropped at school. Got past orientation and was handed my wards. My daughter, and her two classmates. At first I was afraid but after the first few minutes I realized that my daughter was the brattiest of the lot. More so because I was there. She jumped, hopped, skipped, took advantage of me and barely heard a word I said. While the other two kids heard everything I said and stopped when I requested them to stop and moved when I asked them to. I was surprised at how independent kids in this generation generally are. They know what they want and do precisely that.

I had taught in Grad School but that was to teenagers. Here, I was dealing with Kindergartners. Still not sure who is much scarier. The teenagers are always quiet and up to something while the kindergartners get you with their energy. The noise level in the bus on our way up was at unhealthy levels. This coupled with the noise of parents trying to make new-parent-friend screaming on top of the kids did not help. I kept looking at my three kids and they were behaving just fine. One boy and two girls, super cute. This felt like a sneak peek into a day of my child's life at school, not really, but still...

The three scheduled hours felt like a little less time while we were going through the schedule but once we were on the bus, it flew past us very fast. We looked at animals, ate lunch, saw more animals, resolved some compatibility issues, ate snack, restroom breaks, and the kids did not want to make another move and neither did we, the chaperoning adults. We were done and kept looking at our watch for 12.55 recon time.

The journey back was quieter, tireder children who now whispered. Babs refused to sit with her friends and snuggled up next to me, playing with me. I felt so loved with all the attention I got from her. On our way home we played for a bit in the park and then I logged on to work for a couple of hours.

The snacks were set up on the table, the drinks were lined up and pizza ordered and picked up when our friends came in. We ate, chatted, and the kids played for a bit then the colors came out. We emptied 20 packets of colors on 5 adults and 5 kids. We were all a happy but messy bunch. After about an hour of coloring each other, we cleaned up and laid down for the weekend to start.

I never thought I'd say this but it was an awesome time, going to the field trip and then playing holi. We enjoyed every bit of it, especially the kids. Sometimes I am the mom that is happy if her kid is happy and I feel ok with that. I do not need to put my personality through and push aside her happiness. The girl who spends more time at the day care, who understands when her mother cannot pay attention to her because of work, the girl who smiles through it all...I am happy to be your mom :)