Friday, December 17, 2010

Life as I knew it

Changes so often. I wonder at times if it is something to do with me. I worked for a year, then married and took off for another year while pregnant with the twins, then worked from home another year after they were born, worked full time whole carrying my daughter, quit after another year, relocated to uk a year later, and now going back to college and working in a totally different field all together! Ahhhh.... To tell the truth, life has been full and varied, but now I long for some consistency and my old work back! Teaching seemed very fascinating while in IT and IT looks exciting when in teaching! Its not that I don't enjoy what I have, my commitment to work has always been 100 per cent, yet, there is always the thought that I will only be happy with something that pushes me well beyond my comfort zone and I am not too sure that this job is doing that. Anyway, this post is just to clear my head..and I will greatly appreciate input for your end...have you had issues like these before? If so, how did you sort it out? If not, what would you do if you were me?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Goblie (Final and last part)

Story for a picture book..a favourite with my kids!
..............................................

GOBLIE

There is a monster called Goblie,
Who lives in the Caribbean sea.

She is blue, big and good,
And no, children are not her favorite food.

She has eyes the colour of the sun
And hair on her head looks like a bun!

One day when she came up for air,
There was a fishing boat stuck in her hair!

She shook her head, for it was tickling her so
And the boat fell, far far below.

'A monster! Blue, big and bad!'
The fishermen's words made Goblie sad.

She swam away with her head bent low
And the fishermen swam to the shore.

'Do you know what we spied?
A monster in the lake!!' They cried.

With sticks, bricks, shears and bows,
They set out to give Goblie some blows.

But Goblie heard them and stayed far away
And they went back, the very same way.

Goblie stayed in her tiny cave,
Lonely, sad and very grave.

It was a hot summers day.
Children dived into the sea to play.

The water was pleasantly cool,
BUT, what they didn't see … was a WHIRLPOOL!

Two of them were sucked into.
Their cries of help echoed through.

'Horror of horrors! Who could that be?
Surely, its the monster and it's coming to eat me!!!!'

Their daddies and mummies on the shore
Began crying even more.

But what they saw happening out there,
Made them stand still and stare.

Goblie was emerging from the whirlpool,
With a smile on her face, ever so cool.

And seated on Goblie's back,
Were two tiny backpacks!

Beaming from ear to ear,
They gave everyone a loud cheer.

Goblie is a monster, blue, big and good.
She wouldn't eat children, even if she could.

She used to stay in her tiny cave,
But now has a house her tiny friends gave!!!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Goblie (Story for ages 2-5)

There is a monster called Goblie,
who lives in the Caribbean sea.

She is blue, big and good,
and no, children are not her favorite food.

She has eyes the colour of the sun
and hair on her head looks like a bun!

One day when she came up for air,
there was a fishing boat stuck in her hair!

To be Contd...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The diamond trip of United Kingdom ... Part 1

Thats what we like calling it! Our trip started out with six energetic adults and three enthusiastic children and finished after seven days with five tired adults and three enthusiastic children (no..we didn't loose anyone.. One adult flew back home!).

My brother H and wife N and my parents settled in their car and we stuffed ourselves and the tents and the groceries and the sleeping bags and the duvets and the clothes and the picnic table and chairs and the folding chairs and the stove and the gas and the vessels into ours!! After a lot of breaks we finally reached Wasdale...a lovely place in lake district..where we had been before. Karthik and I love the place. It holds something for us, I don't know what. But I would return there again next year and forever till we are in UK. A few snaps of the place before I continue the tour diary.v I can't seem to put in words the feeling we had when we set out after having had hot idlis( my doad was the kitchen..rather, stove in charge during the trip and he managed to get us delicious south indian food all through scotland!) to walk around the lake. A few pictures might speak a thousand words, or it might not convey anything at all. Tell me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Parents at home

After months of waiting, dad and mom are here! The kids had been getting frantic a week before they were due to arrive. Kachi and Kautu would start the day enquiring if they have come and krithika starts putting on her shoes to go and pick them up! Then finally, the D day arrived and we all set off, my brother and wife, karthik, me and the kids to pick them up. Oh..so joyful to see the reunion of the oldest and the youngest in our family!
The time spent with us seems all too little now. Barely two weeks after he arrived, my dad went back. We managed a cross England camping trip that lasted a week, a single day exploring London, punting on river Cam and loads and loads of shopping the while he was here. Mom is here another month, and I have put on an additional few Kgs with all the good food, morning, noon and night!
Ah...I really was missing my almost every month trips to Chennai to see them, and the frequent visits of Mom to Bangalore, when Karthik and I would take off from our duties and relax in her cooking and pampering! Isn't it so wonderful that you have someone who loves the kids as much as you and you can unburden yourself totally to them and relax without a thought in your head? I often think of children who don't have grandparents...how much they are missing, all the old stories, the feeling of listening to and loving someone other than your parents and ofcourse, the yum food. Anyway, let me enjoy myself a bit more and get back to the sorry posts after they have gone!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

When we reached paradise

We reached it by around 4 in the evening, last saturday, after a 7 hour drive from Cambridge. We knew we were entering it when the country side began giving way to rolling hills and mooing cows and baaing sheep. We exited the motorway to go past the lush greenery and the beautiful, quaint cottages with flowers hanging from every possible corner and stopping the car every now and then to allow for stray sheep and lamb on the road. And then, we took a turn to the right and nearly had our eyes fallen out! We saw a pristine lake at the footsteps of a tall mountain, with flowers adorning her side and nothing else. No civilisation, no people and we had a ten minute drive by the side of the lake till we came to our campsite.
From then on, it was sheer fun and time whizzed by till we found ourselves home! Pitching the tent, making dinner on our small portable gas, chatting away outside the tent while the kids slept, surrounded by no other noise than the sound of the sheep, looking around to find your vision blocked by trees and mountains, waking up the next day to a hot cup of tea which I sipped sitting under a tree and watching the kids playing around, the drive to the lake, the brilliant three hours we spent there-feeling like the only people in the whole wide world, the kids throwing stones for hours on end into the water, the picnic by the lake, the scramble back into the car when thunder threatened our outing, cooking lunch, eating hot hot sambar sadam, heaviest rain we have seen in England, water seeping through our tent!!, walk by the mountain farm in the evening, the bridge across forever, the fallen pasta and eager mouths, the night in the tent with the rain outside, sitting by the lantern light and having a pasta dinner, talking into the night while the kids slept, the last day blues, packing up the tent, trip to windermere, river cruise, swans galore and the long drive home.
Suffered a mild depression after coming back, for we had left a large part of ourselves there, and we have promised ourselves another trip back there soon.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why?..I am beat!

Why do we blink our eyes?
Why does the wheel rotate when the pram moves?
Why does the pram shake when it goes over the stones?
Why do we have a mouth?
Why does that aunty shake while walking?
Why should we wake up when the sun comes?
Why do we have to sleep when the sun is still there? (sunset is at 8.00pm these days, after the kids bedtime!)
Why do we come down when we jump? (explained a lil bit of gravitation and the apple falling!)
Why do we have 10 fingers and not only 1?
Why does the cycle not have life? ...
cause it is made of metal.
Why is it made of metal?
cause it has to be strong enough to carry you.
But why does metal not have life?
*sigh* *..forced to go back to the easiest reply possible ..* cause god made it so!!!


...Kashyap n kaustubh's questions, karthik n I get a thrill just hearing them and trying to think of an answer they can understand.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life has been going on...

at full speed. Kids have even changed schools in the few months that we've been here. They got admission to the school at the end of our lane, so pulled them out from their older one which was less than 10 minutes walk to put them here. Really, such absurd distances kids have to travel to school here! They seem to like the new one too, though I was a bit skeptical, and this change was quite a difficult one for me. Coz I liked the 10 min walk. Coz the old school had a lot more discipline. Coz I had made a friend there. Coz the kids loved their teacher. Coz they brought back a drawing each day. Coz they had a lovely climbing bar in the ground. Coz it was close to the library and the park.
I do hope I have a lot of Coz of this school too. Now baby was getting bored in the house when the kids were at school. So I have started taking her to the playgroups here. Such a lovely concept. I pay 1.5 pounds for two hours and there are ample toys, snacks and even tea and coffee and biscuits for the moms. Not to mention, a lot of other moms you can chatter away with. The last half hour is filled with rhymes and music with all the moms and dads taking part. Its quite a lot of fun and we even have walking songs where you hold hands with your kids and take them around in a circle singing their favorite songs. Baby loves every minute of it. I love the tea, the conversation and the books that i take along. These groups meet just once or twice a week, so have found three different ones so that I have a playgroup to go to everyday.
And then, we usually walk/drive to the park in the evenings, when the climate is nice and sunny. So that takes care of the rest of the afternoon and evenings. So time is flying and how.
Kids are having a blast and we are too. I think, the right words for any kids are:
lots of play, different places every three hours, good food and relaxed parents. Am I right?

Monday, March 8, 2010

How much more sweeter can it get??

......when your son hugs you spontaneously and says " I love you, Amma". I tell him "I love you too" and he says "I love you three" and opens his hand wide just letting you now how much he loves you!!!
......when your daughter comes and cuddles with you and starts pinching your cheeks, kissing your face all over and tells you "Amma..I want to konjafy" (She wants me to cuddle with her!)
......when the kids eat all the food you lovingly prepared for them and say "Mummy, your food is yummy!"
......when you wear a new dress and your sons say "Amma, you are looking VERY pretty!" (they like me wearing black).
......when you see their face lighting up as they spot you waiting outside their class door and they rush with their days activity sheet in hand, eager to show you their scribbles.
......when you spot the stickers your sons have from school says "Good work", "Teachers special award", "hard working" and "star student"!!!!
......when you take them to a play pen and they spend four hours inside, hanging, rolling, climbing and sliding, and then you join them, creeking your aging bones in the process and find them directing you "Amma, you have to climb like this and then go like that ...."

It can't get sweeter than this, can it?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What not to love

If you really had a choice, what would you prefer not to love? You could be in love with the climate no matter what it may be, in love with your husband and kids and house, in love with your job, your friends, food, movies, a walk, your thoughts, in fact, your very life. But if given the one thing that you would prefer not to love, what would it be?
Well, lets see, for me, it would be the constant need to justify everything I do. Its a habit picked up a few years back, and its not yet been rid of. I have to justify to myself, every minute thing I do. If I rest, if I am working too hard, if I am reading a book, if I am running a bit late to take them to school, if I am putting my legs up and letting karthik do the vessels for a change, ..just about anything. Really, its time I learnt to just give it up and be happy following my heart and doing just what I feel like doing (well, thats precisely what I am doing right now, what I need to stop is, the brain telling the rest of me that what my heart is doing is not what should be done by an ideal mom/wife/daughter and so on!)
So, I am gonna try getting the brain to shut down for a while and live in a heart felt stupor for a while!
Adieu...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A trip to london, a car, a tv, the library, school and movies!!!!!

Yeah...thats about what we have been upto the past few weeks! Its been a whole lot of fun, getting new stuff and going to new places and putting the kids in school. But what I enjoyed the most was setting up the house! My daily activity would be searching gumtree for all the lovely second hand stuff we can get, and believe me, we got real great deals! We've been selling and reselling a lot of stuff and I am in love with some of the quaint furniture we have got! There is this lovely rattan set, chest of draws, corner table and bedside table which we got for a steal of 25 pounds, and it looks like new! We got another real antique looking pure wood chest of draws that I have converted into a dressing table, well, it does look a bit converted, but cute all the same. Sold off our old book rack and have put a few more items for sale, but no hits so far. Its so much more fun looking at the best deals, figuring out just how far is the person's place and whether the price and the item is worth all that travel and finally getting a good piece home. Its kindof addicting. I am having to drag myself out of gumtree and I thought writing a blog about it will give me a break from the 24x7 perusing of the site!
On other things, we did a trip to london a few weeks back, wanted to name the post.."London trip-part 1", cause thats exactly what it was! We went to my cousins place, had a blast with her family, she has a daughter my twins age and they all freaked out. All four in the tub, tumbling around, eating and spilling around the house and what not! And, we saw.....the london bridge. Thats about it! Took us around 4 hours finish our slow walk across the bridge and by then we were famished. Went to east ham, the Indian quarters of London and ate a full meals at Vasantha Bhawan, karthik was thrilled beyond words. So, I think there must be atleast parts 2 - 6 to finish up a bit of london.
Kids started school last week. They go to the afternoon batch, quite a lot of work for me! Getting them ready, fed and then walking for a good 15 minutes with them in the cold. It takes more than that if they decide to stop and watch the cars going, railway track, signals and other kids on bikes. We do somehow manage to make it in time. Karthik tried it a few days back and he did a hats off for me!! The challenge is in doing all this without blowing off the top. Maybe the kriya helps (meditation is making me a better mom!!). They love the school. Infact, kautu starts asking at around 11..."Amma, why are we not dressing up? We NEED to go to school". Ok, dears, I too am all in favor of you going, though the two hours you are there is hardly a break for me. It takes me another 15 min to walk with baby back, (she sits in her pushchair, thankfully). Then your dad comes home for lunch and by the time he leaves its time for me to started getting ready again to come n pick you up. So, tell me, who is having a better time, you or me? They have milk and a fruit at school and always have milk whiskers when I go to pick them up..looks sooo cute. They come running out and give a big kiss to baby and thrust their days activity paper at me. I then sit down to button up their coats which they have put on by themselves in class, and so its almost always either buttoned up wrong or not at all. Then we all start our long walk home. Only, the coming back takes longer due to either our library visit or the school stories.
And then there was the library membership. Ahhh.. I have been binging on books the past few weeks. Would finish up a book a day and they have such a huge collection (well, its free too, that counts!). We usually go there on the way back from school as said above and the kids sit on the engine in the kids section while I finish up my selections. Then we take a book for them and start back. Got caught in a blizzard last week (full with the snow and wind and all!). Luckily for us we had popped into the library, else would have landed up in no mans land during the blizzard, can't imagine what it would have been like with the kids stranded on the road.
Well, we finally bought a car two weeks back. So, I do drop them to school if its raining or snowing in the car, but I really prefer walking as parking is quite a pain, have to keep doing rounds to see if someone is taking the car out. Car is a boon, and the one we got is quite similar in controls to the one I used to drive in bangalore, so its quite a breeze (esp. the lovely roads and well behaved traffic.). If you can drive in any of the metros in India, you can pretty much drive any where else!

And the movies! Got a 40" tv and a blu ray player, so, its been a movie a day for the past few days..seen revolutionary road, volverine (or is it with a W?), curious case of benjamin button, kung fu panda, hangover (awsome!), knowing (terrible, bah) and more on the way. Kids sleep off at 7.30 these days, so we chill out after that.

Enough of my yak, yak? I'll get on with the snaps.

The leashes are not visible in this snap, but we had two leashes for both the boys which joined their hands with mine! Thats what saved our sanity that day.


Finally, a family snap.


In front of their school .. the first day.


By the river cam, on a sunny day


Feeding the ducks n swans, we all love this! Last week we finished up two entire loafs of bread. You should see how fast the ducks can swim when they want to catch that bit!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

It sunned today!!!

Yippeeeee.....the sun showed itself today! After days of rain and snow, the sun came out bright and beautiful for the entire day..and could we sit at home??? No way...we lugged the kids and a picnic hamper along and left early in the morning (an hour after sunrise, at 10.00 am) for some exploring. Went to another part of the river stretch, the one next to Kings college and the museums and had a lovely time sunning ourselves and feeding the ducks n swans again! Kaustubh was in his element today, crying for cake the moment we started the walk. Had to struggle to get him to a bench and then cut the cakes we had taken along. A few pieces went to the ducks as well. Had lunch in an indian restaurant nearby, and was thrilled beyond words! The food was amazing. Pure Kerala cuisine at a very reasonable price, and was infact more tasty than some stuff I have tasted in Kerala. The proprietor was very sweet too. The kids got a complementary dosa which they promptly attacked and devoured in a minute. Went to a friends place from there and spent a very nice evening with their family. They have a baby near Krithika's age and the kids loved playing with all her toys, while karthik n I loved the conversation and the onion pakodas! A lovely sunday...hoping for more sunny ones like this!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I dreamt it

England is under the big freeze. I have always dreamt of sitting in a cozy room, with a cup of tea and a book, lying on the sofa and watching a heavy snowfall. Tell me, what do you really feel when your dreams are realised? Do you get lost in the feeling that this can't possibly be true, or that now my dream has been realised, shouldn't I be more happy or omigod, this moment is going to go by soon, let me try n capture it as much as possible (and then loose it in the process) or, does it become an anticlimax, that you had expected so much out of it that the reality failed to match up to your expectation? All these used to happen to me so often, that i dreaded my dreams coming true, i felt it much better to have beautiful dreams than seeing those wonderful dreams coming to dust by becoming reality.
Well, I had a wonderful opportunity to attend a four day course in the Sri Sri Ravishankar's ashram in bangalore and had the good fortune to meet him face to face. What a truly divine experience that was. On the second day of the course, our teacher asked a very relevant question. How long can you keep watching that amazinginly beautiful scenery? An hour or two? How long can you keep watching that snowfall you love? A few minutes? Ah..it was such a relief to see hear these words. Good to hear that this is a universal truth, and that, when you get something that you feel is wonderful and have been longing to have, experience, it is but natural for you to feel a surge of pleasure initially, but you just cannot hug and preserve that feeling forever. You might look back and remember the instantaneous joy that you experienced, but thats all it was. Instantaneous. And after that, you are back to being the person you were, in the same life that you have, with the same people, circumstances you were in!
But if you see yourself as happiness, and you are in joy throughout, then those dreams that you had, when it becomes a reality, just enhances your joy. You learn to accept everything beautiful and relish in your dreams because you know that your essential nature is of joy. All that fear of the dream not living up to your expectation and doubts of whether you are really enjoying yourself of not, is gone. You are enjoying yourself every minute of your day. Your dreams being true jut adds a drop to an already overfilled cup of joy.
Am I making any sense? Have I answered the question I had raised? No? Then please forgive me,I have not yet probably reached the state of zen!!!!, but at where I am now, I am living my dream, and I am truly happy with it!!!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Happy birthday, dear

Krithika...who calls herself thithika, who cries 'Ammeeenaaa in the morning, noon and night for me' who when feeling an excess of love grinds her teeth, pulls my eyebrows and yells, 'Achodaaaa'! Who imitates whatever her god like anna's (elder brothers) do and still find it in her to pull their hair and scratch them when irritated, who is the apple of her dad's eye, who looks her best in any dress or without! who does something naughty and then refuses to look into your eye for a while, who broke my cup yesterday and ran out of the kitchen and sat down meekly by my feet, who removes all her dresses in the blink of an eye and wanders around in her birthday suit, who falls asleep in a second when put in her car seat, who says hi and bye to everyone on the road, who cries only when hit by her brothers and sleepy, who is 2 years old, but still wakes up in the middle of the night to have her milk, who just needs her brothers around to be happy and constantly playing, who speaks almost as much as them, who sings and dances so adorably, who has brought the maximum smiles on our faces the past two years, who has given us the best years of our life,
darling Krithika, May you spread this happiness and joy all your long life through, may you be happy and contended all your life through, may your parents and brothers have the good fortune to see you grow as beautiful as you are now, and may god bless this wonderful creation of his.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A week on..

and I am a lil bit tired of the beautiful Apartment we are in and long to move into the house we have rented!! It is beautiful alright, but, it somehow lacks the warmth of the English cottage I have been wanting to live in! Anyway, our furniture is due to arrive day after, and after that begins the huge task of setting up the house, a task I have always enjoyed. Every year after our marraige we have moved houses, and this time, it is a country as well, so, you could call us a sort of moving experts by now! We went to the other place, lets call it FC for now, to arrange all the grociries we had got from India, which was quite a lot, considering that five of us had 30Kg allowance each, most of which were filled with rava, semiya, rice and so on!!!! We have a rented car for the month, Ford Mondeo, and had an inital fight fitting in three car seats at the back. After some shop hopping, we finally settled for two slim car seats (more like booster seats) for Kachi n Kautu and a good car seat for baby! See, what all advantages are there in being the youngest!
I was a bit down the first two days, the climate is freezing and once hubby dear has gone to office, the kids and I are pretty much stuck at home. Now that a few days are gone by and I have managed to see quite a lot of cambridge and taken the kids to a beautiful park by the cam river, and have shopped half the hubby's salary out, I am back in spirits! But truly, nothing like nature and shopping to uplift you, is there?
Kids have adapted really really well. They love the river and go for long walks feeding the ducks and swans. They keep running all the time, so I guess the cold is not an issue at all. I am the only one still wandering around with a frozen face and hands. But over all, its a sea change from my mother land, and I have done fine so far. My brother and his wife are with us, so, probably that helped a lot, but all said and done, I do miss India a lot. I miss its temples, its people, my loved ones and the chatter. I miss the gang in Bangalore and I miss our weekely poker nights. I miss the restaurants and I miss the climate. I miss our unplanned weekend trips and I miss the A2Bs on route to Chennai. I miss...........
Well, I might get over this in a few days, for, the wanderlust in us will kick in and relieve any boredom, but till then, it is a pleasure to blog and crib about how much I miss India.
And it is a pain to think that you can't see the parents when you just feel like it! Other than these minor things (!!) I am enjoying this place quite a lot. Especially the amazing clothes and accessories, and the beautiful English countryside, and the lovely quaint cottages. It is as picturesque as it can get and especially when it snowed yesterday, ahhhh...I melted right out there in the car. Those lovely snowflakes on that beautiful road and river, stirred me as nothing much else has in the recent past. Wish I had a few pictures to share with you, let me take a look...

At Jesus Greens, the part with the river Cam for a boundary


Feels much like Venice, doesn't it? This is just a walk from Jesus Greens and the wooden pathway we are on is right above the river and really really slippery. Kachi fell down three times and I was almost on my butt too!