Time. Precious?

A is going for his summer coaching. He has chosen cricket. I know it is just spring time as per the calendar :). These coaching classes started yesterday and go on till mid-April. Starts at 5:30am IST.

Yesterday I saw parents bringing their kids in even a little after 6!!!! I thought maybe because it was the first day people were taking it easy. It continues today. I remember it was the case last year too.

This has got me thinking. I have been embarrassed many times when it has been pointed out that punctuality is not a part of the Indian psyche. I have even argued that it cannot be generalised. That said, in all honesty, we Indians are lackadaisical when it comes to keeping time. It is ok to make someone wait. I think I have written about how wedding receptions never start on time & people actually were surprised about my ignorance of this fact!! The invitation says 7PM means it will probably start at 8PM if we are lucky!!
It is weird that the same set of people cannot wait a few seconds at the traffic signal. People honk, start moving even before the light turns green. The don’t stop when the light turns red. All because if they stop, they will waste those precious minutes!!!! (Guess traffic etiquette is a whole different blog post).
So when and how will our kids learn the virtue of punctuality? Do I say the kids had not woken up to get here on time or do I say the parents didn’t enforce the same? I can understand if it is a stray one or 2 kids coming in late (something must have held things up! ) I find it is a whole bunch of kids!!!
Since parents are not allowed to watch the kids at the camp, I do not know if the teachers there reiterate the importance if being on time. I sure hope they do.
Having been brought up with this fact drilled into my head; I find it hard to accept the nonchalance in general. To my grand dad or mother, 5:30 is that on dot. Be early but never late. Respect the other person’s time. Make the effort. These are what had been told to me.
In the case of this camp, the kids have been enrolled because they want to ( or the parents want them to πŸ™‚ ). Either way , shouldn’t the effort be taken to just show up on time?!?!
I am sure there still will be kids coming in late day after day till the end of the camp. Just wish they show some commitment in getting to the school on time!! Teach them young we are told!

Maybe it is just me….

Well, it has been so long since I even logged into WordPress!! Was taken aback by all the interface changes!! That is how long!!! πŸ™‚

It was nice to see an award when I did log in!!! Been 5 years since I registered it seems!! Wow!! Just a few days back I thought time flies – A turned 8. I think it again today – Didn’t realise it has been 5 years since I registered here!!

Life has not changed much but it has too!! I start afresh yet again in a way tomorrow. Nervous about this yet tired of new beginnings. I just wish I had no more… I am at a weird place now. I want change but I don’t want it either. I feel lonely yet think am too set in my own ways that I can’t think of adapting to being with someone either….

A has been the one strength. I have poured out my anger & frustration to him yet he still manages to give me such a welcoming smile when he sees me. Never ceases to please me. Ever ready to give me a hug. As much as I have resented being the only one responsible for him, I love him to bits.

I truly wish my life was less complicated. Wish I could just enjoy the simple things in life. Days I want to see how A has grown up & what he will become. Days I just don’t want to wake up at all.

I have made some new friends yet, have started to think they are not going to be around either. It is not them…I think it is me! As a friend told me, I am not ready to trust anyone any more. Been left stranded way too many times.

Times I just don’t know what I want. One thing though…no more getting hurt & being used.If it means I don’t trust people or be called rude – so be it. I am tired of feeling lost, sad & many times breaking down into tears, feeling defeated. I may not laugh or smile but I do not want to feel crushed.

I do not think time heals! I don’t even think it makes me feel numb over time…may be it is just me!??!

Third consecutive post?!!…

Yeah this is the third consecutive post on technology!! Of course just my random thoughts on whatever!!

Listening to the radio while driving, one can’t avoid listening to the ads too. One goes with the voiceover of a child narrating to her dad that she did not have teachers for 3 periods in class. The dad is bewildered and the child replies they used a particular brand of computing services. Indications of how teachers were not required in classrooms and computing solutions are enough for the kids to learn!!!!! The kid asks whether they can get the same system at home to which the dad responds he would get it if the kid did well at school!

I am not suggesting that we go back to good old days wherein we used no technology. I understand most schools now use smart boards (A’s schools so far have!) but even the mere thought of doing away of teachers??!! I know it is an ad but it just hit a nerve! We are becoming so mechanical, technology dependent that sometimes I guess we forget about relationships, people. We start taking that for granted. Yes, I have got friends thanks to this medium but would I be friends with a bot?! No way! So why would I subject my kid to a no teacher classroom or why would anyone think of doing that?

I guess I have rambled enough. Point is, I think I like my no technology downtimes these days & appreciate what life has to offer! I am learning not to be glued to this machine, not thinking of doing away with it; but just trying to hit the balance! I hope that A does grow in a society where technology is embraced without giving up basic human interactions.

Child’s Elephant

A loves to use MS Paint like apps. He lets his imagination loose. Just have a look at the elephant he has “drawn”. He says that it is a baby elephant that is cute & talks. Apparently it is as cute as him and doesn’t trouble it’s mom to eat! He is very proud of his baby elephant and am proud of my baby!! πŸ™‚ He definitely is a plus in my life as much as I say otherwise!!

A’s wisdom

We were driving on a hot day (well all days are hot here in Chennai!!). My friend was driving with A sitting behind in the car. A was reading all the sign boards found on the road – on the sides, above and everywhere he could read something! (Should may be carry books in the car?! πŸ™‚ )  One of the signs he reads

Don’t drink & drive.

My driver friend feeling thirsty at that point of time, took a swig from the bottle of water in the car! πŸ™‚ It is now quite anyone’s guess about what followed! LOL! A goes…hey don’t drink and drive. It says so everywhere, that is the rule.

Now…do I explain about what is meant by drinking or do I laugh my head off!? Of course I did the latter. My friend went on saying hey..explain to him as he is not willing to listen to me! πŸ™‚ Fun time! πŸ˜€

So, had to tell him he is right, but there is a tweak to what the sign meant. He did not get what alcohol was or the effects. I had to induce that wisdom which made me think…how much do we say? What do we say? I guess now I must dread the birds & bees talk!! Or am I hitting the panic button a bit too early?!

I digress (as usual!). It was a fun day, had a good laugh thanks to A’s wisdom. I would definitely follow it, and urge everyone else to do so too!!

Don’t drink & drive. It causes accidents.

Stop, take a swig and go on πŸ˜‰ Just kidding! On a serious note, personally knowing people who lost loved ones due to drunk driving, we must vow to do everything to stop that!

What we input into children!?

A & I were driving down, passing by a church. Traffic was heavy. A read out the board of the church. I told him that is where a friend of ours goes. Something made me add that the friend was a Christian followed by the question, “what are you?”. Obviously I expected the answer, “Amma I am Hindu” but the answer that came threw me off. It made me start thinking of what we input into children. He answered “I am Indian.” Yes, logistically a wrong answer, him being American by citizenship…still growing up here, he is more Indian than many I know really! πŸ™‚

Back to what I was posting about. I, as a kid, did not know about the caste system until I actually had to put it on some form in school. I went asking my mother who had to explain about this. This was when I was in middle school.

Aspects that have now become a divisive factor, a point on which vote banks are on – religion, caste are something children are not aware of. Are we thrusting it on them? Is it necessary!? Would it make a world of difference if we did not have these in life? Yes, lets say that there is God – but why should that make us a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim or Jain or whatever else there is?!?!

I did not tell A that he was Hindu. I am sure he will know when his “identity” …just wondering if such divisiveness is required. Won’t we all be more at peace without these categories?!?

It is just a stupid thought that came to my idle mind! πŸ˜€  As a parent though, it was a moment!! πŸ™‚

Am alive!!

Hopefully well I must add πŸ™‚ So is A. What got me out of my slumber?! Just missed writing here besides, I thought of penning down a recent experience of mine which of course involved A & a dear friend Aaarti.

Flash back πŸ˜€ Tuesday last we received a circular from the school that Aakash studies in asking for students between UKG and 3rd to register to be dressed as Lord Krishna for a programme by Aruna Sairam on Vijay TV (Krishna Jayanthi special) Krishna Jayanthi for non- Indian readers is the Hindu celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday. The following Wednesday was another Hindu holiday. Since we thought the registrations would have filled up for the first 100, we did not bother to call the school up to register though A was very keen to be lil Krishna. Friday we thought why not just give a shot – called and were surprised that A was just Krishna #81!!!!!

Saturday: Aaarti, A & I went shopping to get the costume ready. There I get a brainwave; decide not to hire the costume but put things together and dress the guy up. While shopping, we kept in mind that whatever we buy, I must be able to use later and it should not end up to be a one time thing. Had fun blowing money πŸ˜€ Got the costume ready with the help of my mum too. A was pretty co-operative with every little thing we tried on him!

Sunday: Recording day!! We were asked to be at the auditorium at 2pm. We had been asked to get snacks for the kids and get them dressed up completely there. I took A there sharp at 2. The air-conditioner in the auditorium was not switched on. It was a typical hot day in Chennai. So, one can imagine how it would have been inside the auditorium!!! Took A out to the car, got him dressed there. Thank God that the auditorium was closer to the beach (sea breeze had set in, it was getting a wee bit cooler πŸ™‚ ) Aaarti joined me to help me get him dressed. We got in to the auditorium, in a while they switched on the A/C. I pitied every kid there, all made up, in uncomfortable clothes and sweating. Though they really did not seem to mind! We even found a couple of kids playing “stone, paper, scissors” in front of us πŸ˜€ That bit was a delight – watching all the kids around (Kids playing, crying, wanting to go pee after getting completely dressed up!!!, wanting to eat after putting on their make up.. ). Then it was utter chaos. No one really knew what was the plan of action. The sound checks kept going on. Suddenly there was an announcement to leave the kids in the middle rows. When I say announcement it was not on the PA system, it was just a random person who came and told us parents. So, there were some who were completely oblivious to the announcement. With lots of confusion, finally things settled down. The artist comes in with her band, does sound checks. Kids there totally restless. Aruna Sairam sang well, tried to get the kids involved telling them they were the show’s stars, making them dance & sing. The show had 4 songs sung by her & 2 with her and a few kids who had been trained. We also had constant announcements not to take photographs or video recordings. Of course, we all would take pictures of our Krishnas (Aaarti & I did before the programme started and the announcements were made – so I guess we are fine πŸ™‚ )

I found the whole thing highly disorganised. I would also blame the parents & other relatives of the kids around too. They kept approaching the kids now and then crowding around the area where they were seated which triggered multiple announcements from the “organisers” requesting the parents to not do so. Though I also understand that the kids would have been hungry/uncomfortable and needed to confer with their mums or dads. I suppose Vijay TV officials should have realised this and made this a bit more of a pleasant experience for all. The concept of the programme was good, hence the planning should have involved a bit more of consideration that it involves small children. Parents too must have been a wee bit more co-operative! Aaarti and I were joking saying we were such “bad” adults when it came to looking after A. I had just left him where he had to sit, told him I was going to be around. That was that. I did not bother to go enquire after etc…, So, may be I was a bad parent after all. πŸ™‚ I did get irritated at one point when the MC kept announcing the kids to be quiet, parents not to approach the kids etc., I went up and told her to realise how things are. She listened and told me…that she was just doing this as a hobby but will take the suggestions in a good manner!!! There was no one who we could actually approach and ask questions or talk to!! Recording was over and done with. The kids received a packet with mysurpa box from Krishna Sweets (a brand here), a few packs of biscuits/cookies. Announcements were made saying the programme will be relayed on 13 August but the time was not given. I must say that whether every kid’s face is relayed or not, each one of them was cute (some parents had even painted the kids blue or blue/black!! torture I say especially when I was so apprehensive of putting on even a light make up on A!!! ). The kids were definitely the stars πŸ˜€

I must really grant it to Vijay TV here. They must have gotten a really good TRP rating that day. I should say I was partly a contributing member. Word of mouth advertisement. Please see A on TV (he might come for a few seconds – one among 100s of kids! πŸ™‚ ) Aaah the vanity of motherhood!! The network ran teasers – my parents & of course I was very pleased to see a close up of A in the teaser!! πŸ˜€ All riled up to watch the show on 13th, I came back from work early. Switch on the television to find that the cablewala had cut power. All we could see were black and white dots with that crazy noise!! Calls flew past asking if anyone could record the programme for us. Alas, I must say I did not see the programme. Aaarti said that A did appear for a few seconds which made me write “A got his 2 secs out of his 15 minutes of fame!” as my status message.

I must say here that A, Aaarti, my parents & I had fun dressing A up as lil Krishna. I must also add that A milked every bit of appreciation from one and all (attention seeker that he is becoming!!! I must get wary of that πŸ™‚ ) I am still trying to find out if that programme is available on YouTube or anywhere else. I did read somewhere that the dressed up Krishnas were not given that much of a coverage on the programme.

Would I do something like this again!? Honest answer, I don’t know. I would think twice before registering him for such TV shows though. May be I am not being fair to the network, but I really feel they should have anticipated things, made better arrangements especially since the show involved so many kids.

Anyways after the “jetlag” of my long slumber, I guess am back with this post of a happening almost a week back πŸ™‚ . I don’t know though if I will post as regularly but will definitely try. Thanks to some of you who did enquire after me. That really made me feel good, felt like -hey even I am missed!!!

PS: Please do let me know if any of you have a recording of the show or can find out a link for me to just at least watch! Please!! Pretty please…with cherries on top!! πŸ˜€ If anyone one wants to see A in his costume (and already has not πŸ˜‰ ) please do mail me, will try mail you a pic πŸ˜€ As I said earlier, vanity of motherhood!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

Ms.Winkle?! Me?

What have I been upto for the past few days? Nothing really. I have slept through most of the days except to wake up & look after A. This is way too many Zzzzzs for an insomniac like me.

I was chatting with MsChill Pill answering her query as to how my day was. She said I was catching up on my lost sleep so far with me telling her that would only happen if I became Rip Van Winkle. πŸ™‚

Wow! Would it not be great? Going some place, meeting strangers, a game of nine pins…. the liquor bit I am not so sure though πŸ˜‰ and sleeping for a couple of decades! I would look a wee bit better than Mr.Winkle I suppose – no facial hair (hopefully!!! πŸ˜€ ) Does n’t hibernation also involve weight loss? πŸ˜‰

Hmmm….now that said, what would I miss? A’s growth. That is all and that is a lot. Quite a toss up now, ain’t it?

I know I will be back to my insomnia, ranting, cribbing, enjoying A’s life and a wee bit of mine πŸ™‚ telling you all about the crazy mundane life (now that is an oxymoron – guess it is the crazy me leading a mundane life!Β  πŸ™‚ )

Neither here nor there!

This post has been coming for quite some time now! I have shared this with some people I know about how I don’t feel like I belong. It was not that I felt like I belonged in the US when I was there. I was adapting to the life and learning to love the weather, the people – Many friends who were there who shared my dilemma or did not (I mean those who got the opportunity to work there).Β  It was not a great life, but it was supposedly my home. I put in my time to work on it, decorate & maintain it. Put in thoughts to make it feel like a home – welcomed friends to home cooked meals, hopefully made them feel nice. I did not like American football. To me, football would always be their soccer. Though, I was initiated into it by a friend who taught his kids’ school teams. I remember one time when we had friends over for the Superbowl when the guy taught P the nuances of the game and he was surprised I had picked up so much in just a conversation in some summer barbeque. We had watched the game over Indian food, red wine & awesome cheese,Β  pleasant company.

I digress….anyways…the point is after almost 5 or 6 years, I guess I had actually grown roots there. Fast forward to now! I am living under my aging parents roof facing divorce (phew …even I am tired of saying “soon to be ex” when I talk about P) I have been hearing about how he has been packing my stuff since Dec ’06, how he has been talking to the lawyers since only he knows when!! I am yet to receive the papers or our stuff! Life has been weird here. Bittersweet in a way. Found new friends in fellow bloggers. We connect well. They care a lot for A & me….still I feel lonely. Desparate. Feel like I don’t belong here now. Another 5 year haul to grow roots here with A in tow?! I am scared of facing this conservative society – when they hear of divorce it is my fault! At 32, without many skills to boast of , I don’t know where I am headed. I have realised that it is each to one’s own. Everyone is busy, they have their lives. I was one who let go of everything if a friend asked me for help or just called to talk. Guess, back in the US, friends become family. Here I have a family. They are concerned…I know that but are not always considerate because of their own circumstances. Friends are at a loss for even words. No one knows what to say. I am not trying to play the victim here and enjoying it as one person told me. Believe me it is not fun being the victim. Just plain fact that things are not easy. I feel like I don’t belong.

I feel like I left my friends behind there but when I read their blogs or chat with them, I no longer relate to them or their lifestyle/attitude even. I feel like I have no one here in India. I know my parents would rather not have me here at their place; but they are glad I am not somewhere suffering alone. They can’t do much but they can provide a safe shelter. They don’t know what they must do except know that their daughter & grandkid must not suffer. I don’t speak much to my parents because it mostly ends in confrontations ( a whole different post…probably will never get written!) I am just tired of being the depressed person that needs to crib to friends. I feel like I am pushing them away. They don’t know what to say because I don’t want to hear clichΓ©s or talk about karma /God/ time. Nobody can really help me out in a way either.I know I have A. Though I know that he right now is more of a responsibility; I cannot think of how I would manage if P stops sending the money that he is sending me right now! What then? My parents have no income and are living off their savings. So, A, unless I am financially stable, makes me think I made a huge mistake having him. Live in the present people might say….then when I am broke tomorrow, how do A & I live?

Just a day when I think it must all end!

Dec 6th….

To most Indians, when they hear this date, they don’t even pause to think before saying it reminds them of the Babri Masjid demolition. I decided to write this post to say this date has other events too…

Here is the wiki page on Dec 6th. Just a few from that page

1768 – The first edition of the EncyclopΓ¦dia Britannica is published.
1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, banning slavery.
1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington D.C. is completed.
2004 – My son A was born (well this is not on that page…yet πŸ˜‰ well almost – Thank you Varun )
2006NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.

As much as I understand that Babri Masjid event happened, when some one asks me his date of birth; please don’t tell me that is what one associates the day with always!! The guy was born more than a decade later. There is no need to state good things that happened….just don’t state this! πŸ™‚

So, what can some one say…just say Happy Birthday if it is close to the day πŸ˜€Β  Else, say oh! he is born under the sign Sagittarius :). Am gonna scream next time I hear some one say…Babri Masjid – I swear!! πŸ˜€ Dear A, wish you a very happy birthday. Hope you have a great life and get to do whatever you want and be happy!