Monday, August 23, 2010

A started at the preschool today

I just went in to peek in to her classroom, check on how A was doing on her 1st day at school. She was sitting with the other kids, facing the teacher who was singing something (heard music in the background) A kid or two seemed actually present in the moment, they were clapping to the music (almost absentmindedly I thought) Mine was just sitting... tuned out I guess! FOr a little bit in the middle, she raised her neck up to look at the corner where the other teacher (Ms. K) was sorting some papers etc.. then went back into nothing. Then again, she raised her hand when Ms. A asked them to.. and well.. I thought she 'd see me.. so I scooted out. She seemed lost - not necessarily in a bad way(she didn't seem upset or scared)
Seeing her in a group like that made me realise how terribly young she is... all the kids there in the class I guess, but selfish me, I had eyes only for mine. I don't think I liked seeing them all bunched up in a closed room like that.. I'd rather see her up and running around, playing with toys and smiling. But then, I know I am looking for excuses to hate the school considering my current state of mind. I'll have to remember to revaluate this in a week or two...

Last night, when I went to bed, it hit me.. that outside play at the preschool would be her 1st time ever to go about the playground by herself. I felt a pit in my stomach that still hasn't disappeared. And today at work it hasn't been easy focussing either. Thought I'd jot it down to get it out of my system so I can concentrate on the tasks on hand!

A has been pretty excited about going to school though. She didn't want to get out of there after the orientation on Friday and was looking forward to Monday the whole weekend! Wonder if the story will change course after day 1 at the school, and by what degree! She had dinner (called it lunch for last night :)) in her new lunch box and did a fair job of it. This morning, I packed her stuff that I have been coaching her to eat in her lunch box. She seemed really excited about it. '
I gonna eat it alll up!
she's promised. I hope atleast half the lunch is consumed.

The school has had a weird policy of not encouraging parents to visit for the 1st two weeks; I just don't get it. Well, the lady at the front desk did let me check on A, so I am not complaining that loud yet. Plan is to go again during outdoor playtime - in hopes of catching a glimpse of her - or maybe I'll just pick her up early today. It's almost lunch time for A ... eat it alll up babe!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy Independence Day

jab shahidon ki doli uthe dhoom se
desh waalon tum aansuu bahaanaa nahin
par manaao jab aazaad bhaarat kaa din
us ghadi tum hamen bhul jaanaa nahin

Heard this on the radio last evening... it reminded me of why I am proud to be an Indian... of the real reason in celebrating Independence day!
Flag hoisting, singing the national anthem and the march past in crisp white uniforms were enough to draw me to the independence day celebrations when I was in school... off late though... something was missing.

I have been in the States, away from India for a decade now... some of the fervor did wane down just be the fact that I was in another country... not my motherland.
I have been out of school for a while now... some of the fervor waned when crisp white uniforms didn't appeal to me as much any more.
I have been seeing some random bollywood star be the 'grand marshall' of the independence day celebrations in the current indian community... that and watching the parade have more desi businessmen in their fancy (?) cars waving at people than the actual jhaanki's at the parade haven't helped either. It'll be safe to say my enthusiasm for celebrating the independence day was being diminished by these superficial factors.

When I heard these lines on the radio last evening, it was like something that was buried deep inside was suddenly uncovered. Independence day... is a celebration of free India... but it is equally a celebration of all our freedom fighters who did their bit in pushing for the independence of India. Some more popular than the others, but equally brave nonetheless. Just imagining being that passionate for a cause, being that driven by a motive... I am filled with a sense of respect and pride... pride that I belong to the nation of such patriots.

I was reading 'A thousand splendid suns' some time back.... the essence of the book still lingers in my mind. At times I still wonder what it feels like to live in a state of constant fear... not knowing if your loved ones will return home at night... not knowing if you'll see the light of the day tomorrow.... of having your life at the mercy of others. Thanks to our freedom fighters we'll never have to deal with that. In the colonial India, to have the vision of seeing the bigger picture... and dedicating your life in pursuit of that goal was either sheer genius or sheer madness.... both of which we should be thankful for; for today we are a free country.

This independence day, I am filled with pride... and more importantly I understand what I am proud of.. I am not celebrating just because others are... just because it is unpatriotic not to.... I am celebrating in remembrance of our freedom fighters. May we all do our bit in propelling India in the forward direction... so our great grandkids also get a chance to feel this pride for their forefathers... the inspiration to give to the country for no other reason than that we are doing this for our motherland!

Jai Hind!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I am getting it now... I think!

Sweat literally burning my eyes.... now why would I ever *volunteer* for something that'd lead to this?! Ahhh... the sweet pain, the satisfaction of working out!!

The last couple of yoga classes have been amazing for me. I can feel my transition to the next level ... I can pass off for a semi regular... well, at least a *not a newbie* practicioner now. I remember starting off with a goal of not leaving the room for the duration of the class. I haven't stepped out of a class in the middle of one even once - but hey, I know how many times I have given up in the middle of an asana and just sunk into my mat... hoping for the class to be over soon... questioning my judgement in doing something this intense. For all that I have come through, I am really happy with myself for sticking with the programme (with some much needed and very well timed figurative kicks in the behind from S ofcourse)

I am now where I can stick with all the 26 asanas for the entire 90 minutes without feeling the intense urge to just leave it all and flee the studio. I think if an experienced *yogini* has taken a 100 steps to get where they are at practicing yoga... I am at step 10...but well, in my mind I have no doubts that I worked very hard to put step 9 behind me. I hope to remember the feeling of tiredness and relaxation in one breath... and then forgettting all the fatigue the next moment. Ahh... rejuvenating yoga! During savaasana today, I almost felt my body emanating heat... I could see the vapors rise from the surface of my skin. Geez, it is an experience every single class!

One of the instructors sums it up very well.... his concluding statements go like..
"Remember my friend, energy is not something you have... energy is something you ARE!"


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shankar Ehsaan Loy - LIVE in concert

Shankar Mahadevan is a powerhouse... the energizer bunny if you may! I still cannot believe how he could continue to sing so effortlessly, so beautifully, without a hint of tiredness in his voice or fatigue in his body language!

This blog is to retain all that I can about the wonderful evening of the SEL concert - not sure how many others will compare.

So we set out - the three of us, still debating whether to take the BART or the car to Oracle Arena for the concert. I vetoed the decision and asked to be driven all the way citing that we had a toddler in tow that needed to not be made to wait for trains when she'd be asleep on the way back... 30 bucks to park... hmmm... not sure if that was a smart decision. Another decision I was still debating in my mind was whether it was worth spending all that money on a ticket for a toddler.. what if she made us walk out half way through the show!!

So the show started... some generic dance routines... which were alright in my opinion... not for the lack of preparation form the dancers.. they were pretty good actually... but well, they barely had much space around all the instruments that were set up for the band. My kid is thoroughly enjoying the show though.. she LOVES the upbeat tempo that SEL's music generally provides. Only problem is.. she won't sit in her seat.. insists on dancing in the aisle.

So, here we are... waiting for the show to begin.. out walks Reecha Sharma. I have LOVED some of her numbers over the time... so I was hoping she'd rock it! Hubby on the other hand was not impressed... he was waiting for Mr Mahadevan and nothing/ noone less would do. For the life of me, I don't understand why she chose to start the evening with Shubha Mudgal's Ab ke Saawan!! Some compositions are meant for certain artists.. you don't fool around with them.. she tried to and she failed pretty badly IMO. She kinda redeemed herself with the maahi ve number that followed... but by then, she had exhibited enough of her personality to put me off a bit... she seemed kinda superficial / lacking in respect for others around her. I was glad she was done pretty soon... another bit of suspense... were the trio coming on stage now? The host announces the most well rounded singer ever.. he can sing all genres... all moods.. you'd think a Kishore Kumar or Rafi were coming on stage.. or atleast a Sonu Nigam.. par nahin.... my limited knowledge of new desi numbers did not include Shafqat Amaanat Ali. I don't know if he deserved all those accolades, all that hype... he did OK in bits.. seemed to enjoy some performances wayy more than the others... but overall, seemed a little out of place to me. I remember he sang tere naina from My name is khan... I was kinda familiar with the song so.. thank God! I could place the guy! ;) I did like his other rendition better - which was not an original by any means...Damaa Dam Mast Qalandar... he sure sounded like he's sung it many many times before.. and sung it well! But ... hey, where was Shankar so far?? When Amanat Ali was done.. folks started shouting for Mitwaa... and a bulb went in my head... Ahhh!! this is the dude that sang Mitwaa! But I really wanted him to leave.. thankfully he did :)

Some more heavy flowery predictable praise later... there they were Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy... in person! Ahh.. all those doubts about shelling all that money for seats upfront was already worth it. Shankar started off with a quick mangalam bhaagawaan vishnu shloka... won him some brownie points in my books :) He went on to sing Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom.. which was good enough to set the tempo for the evening - I only wish I could get Abhishek Bachchan out of my mind when this song was being performed.. it would have made it all the more better for me! What followed was, to be, one of the best moments of the evening... the trio started with the Dil Chaahta Hai title song... a song we had promised A they would sing specially for her at the concert, cause she's loved it for a long tme now... The smile on her face was beyond describable... 'it's my special song!!!' she squealed in delight and broke into a happy little jig in the aisles.. she still remembers that they sang her a special song that evening ... thank you SEL!

Shankar went on to get everyone up and dancing to some of their really funky numbers... all of which I like for their upbeat tempo... I wish I could join in... but my kiddo was almost asleep in my arms.. I would have to wait till she were all asleep and hand her over to S before I could really get into the rhythm.. but folks around me were having fun... and despite A in my arms.. I was too! Shankar was absolutely amazing in his stamina and his vibe... just the coolest and most talented singer there is today! I was very impressed with when he introduced each of his band members to the audience.. he would talk a bit about their instrument... then pretty much challenge them into a duel by mimicking the sound of their instrument....and the vocals matched the instruments spot on! Every one was acknowledged and appreciated.. each time wholeheartedly... there couldn't be a humbler soul in that arena! I have to mention his backup singers, especially Raman - I thought he was very good! I am sure he'll be a main stream singer pretty soon (maybe he is.. I just haven't caught up!) Anusha Mani (?) was also pretty good for almost all but one song.. a song which should just not have made it to the show in my opinion... more on that in a bit. Mahalaxmi Iyer was part of the show for a bit and I thought she was wonderful! chup chup ke and Aaj ki raat were both well sung. Speaking of Don... Shankar absolutely rocked Main hoon Don! There's times when SRK makes a pedestrian song a superhit by being in it.. but in Main hoon Don.. and in Sajdaa (from My name is Khan) I thought he ruined it! And Shankar showed how wonderful both these songs were... rock on Shankar Mahadevan!

Towards the end of the concert, giving in to the audience's requests (of course!) Shankar Mahadevan sang Breathless... left us all breathless! After THAT long of being on stage and singing non stop - how do you push yourself to go on some more and sing something that challenging! Hats off to the guy! That was supposed to be the last song of the evening and it would have been just the perfect end to a wonderful evening.. but sadly, they gave in to the crowds whim and sang Kajra Re with Anusha... she didn't have it in her to pull through this one.. and it ended pretty badly.. oh well, I enjoyed the main course of the feast ...the appetizers and the dessert were no match.. but I was fully satisfied nevertheless!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Mother's day to all you mommies!

A few pals of mine and I have been very enthusiastically sharing our feelings on being mommies... I've ended up counting how many ways life has changed since A came into our life. I've realised that I could not possibly summarize all that has changed.. all that the change has meant, ways it has impacted my outlook towards life in most every aspect of it. My initial attempts have left me dissatisfied with the results... so, no real mother's day post from me. However, there's something I'd like to share... my everyday conversations with A. She's a self professed big girl now.. and yeah, she talks a LOTT! So, here are a few random snippets from our daily life...

A: Are you happy mommy?
Me: Yes
A: Then stop being sad, be happy!
Usually around 6:00 AM, with her eyes still closed..
A: Mommy, can you get me some garam doodu please?
Me: I love you A
A: I love you too Mommy
Me: I love you three A
A: I love you zheeyo Mommy (zero is greater than twenty.. and is the current largest number in A's world!)
A: Can I Can I .. Can I … Can I…
Me: Can I what A?
A: Hmmm… Can I.. eat some ek-ek?
(for reasons I don’t remember.. ek-ek refers to the dough I mix for making rotis.. she likes to eat it just like that)
A: I want two ek-ek
A: Can you hear that?
Me: Yeah, what is it A?
A: I think so it is a vacuum cleaner
Me: I don’t think so, I think it’s a maccue cleaner
A: {giggling} No, it’s not a maccue cleaner, it’s a vacuum cleaner!
Me: Can I have a hug?
A: No thank you!
A: Mommy, will you help me take care of me??
Me: Sure baby, come here
A: Thank you Mommy, you’re my bessht friend, evver (this is while I pick her up to ‘take care’ of her and she hugs me like we’ve met after ages!)
Me: Do you have to go peepee?
A: Oh yes, I do; yesh I do
Me: Let’s go then, quick!
A: Can I .. Can I.. can I pull down my underwear? (yep, no one else is allowed to do that any more!)
A: Mommy, I think so the poopoo is coming
Me: Let’s go, let’s go to the potty
A: Can I pull down my underwear?
Me: Here, let me help you
A: Not you!! Not you!! I can do it
A: (on the potty) Can I do some peepee please?
Me: Sure babe
After a few minutes..
A: I DID it mommy, I DID it!!
Me: You did it?
A: Yes, a LOTT of it :)
A: The moon is windy Mommy… the moon is windy
(We figure she put it together that in the evening when she gets back from daycare, it is windy... and well, the moon has come out about then)
A: Mommy – are you windy? Wear a jacket!
A: I’m so cute!
A: I want beeeg uppa khaaya daddy
Uppa Khaara Uppa (kannada)… is what S says when he gets back home from work.. she goes rushing to greet him and he picks her up and bounces her high in the air and catches her on her way down… the squeals of delight take away all the stress of the day!
A: aggain.. aggain!
A: with an Elmo chaddi on her head… Look at meeee, I’m a pirate.. arrrrgh!
Me: Who sez that?
A: Yo gabba gabba (this yo gabba gabba thing has a lot of influence on her – I sure hope it’s a good thing!)
A: Look at mee.. I am a turtle (she is lying on her belly here.. with a pillow across her back, sort of like a turtle's shell)A: I am shwimming… oh no… I am so scared.. There’s a big wheal coming.. OH NO!!!! (ofcourse the big wheal (whale) is S.. who then informs the turtle that he is a friend)
S: Don’t be scared little turtle... I won’t eat you… I’m your friend!
A: I am lost! ;)

Happy Mother's day fellow mommies!

Friday, April 16, 2010

new blog... public demand! :)

The one person that follows my blog, other than me myself ofcourse ;) reminded me that I haven't posted to this space in some time now! Bolay to 'kasssha kasshaala veL nahiye aajkal '!! not really - I am gonna stop procrastinating as of this moment.. for the next few minutes ;) ;)
I so DON't want to write up summary style blogs, but for now, to serve the ultimate purpose of this blog as a diary of sorts, I am just going to do that. Some day I hope to be able to pen something more spontaneous, more than just a report you know...

My youngest sis completed her bachelors studies just a few days back - who knew she had it in her to complete her studies... she never gave us enough reasons to think she'd do it...mainly 'coz .. she is a little whimsical like that ;) (now now - you can always leave a comment on my blog sistah) SO anyhoo, me very happy for her... and excited about what she is gonna choose next. You see unlike myself and my 2nd sis.. and my hubby... and most folks in my family, she chose not to be a engineer or a doctor (so cliche.. but so true!) she is smart that way ... I am gonna live my alternate career waala life thru her :)

Majli is good at what she does... kamar toD mehnat combined with the smarts.. kya chaiye kisi boss ko apney team member mein aur? ;) these days she cooks yummy (looking) stuff... and more often than not brags about the yummy chaat she devours on a regular basis... grr... then she spends some time fretting about her home mortgage ... I always think she is too young to worry about such things... but I guess she's always wanted to be taken seriously.. to be treated like a grown up. ye beech ke siblings and their complexes!! (there another blog comment scored!!)

Needless to say I miss being with my folks....miss being back with my cousins and uncles and aunts really! I know as time passes, we've all made our peace and moreso, gotten used to the state of things.. but still, there are times I wish I were closer to India.. to be able to enjoy everyone's company in real time :) My li'l cousin bro's and sis's are no longer li'l. I never understand their slang any more! And some have just decided to switch off from keeping in touch ... khair.. what a whiny blog this is becoming now!

chalo, it's almost time to pick up li'l miss A... she has a playdate tonight. Someday when she is all grown up, I am going to make her read my blog and I am not sure how she'll take it that I logged the fact that my baby now is officially on the right track to potty training! "Mumma... poopoo is coming!!" the best words I can hope for in the morning and at evening! She is enthralled every single time she is successful in her efforts.. her "I did it Mommy, I did it!" is about as proud as she ever feels of herself! WHAT a girlie girl she is turning into now.. well, by my standards atleast. The drama and the high pitched exclamations... the tears that flow so freely when someone just so much as raises an eyebrow at her!! I pity S... he is one confused dad.. and she is yet to turn three!!