Thursday, December 31, 2009


The Study - Le Cole Internationale

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year Resolutions!!!

New year is the best time to make a new change.. plan for new goals…take a new resolution..

Not many of us succeed in following our resolutions. Due to many reasons, many quit them in between or keep postponing it.

The first hurdle is to chose the right resolution. We plan something which is above our ability limits or interests (expecting a miracle!). Choosing a realistic goal and working towards it is the best way to succeed. A resolution which we believe is achievable and is interesting to us. Otherwise chances are high to give up after a couple of months.

You can have a big or a long term goal with several milestones or many smaller resolutions. This assures that you have many successes to celebrate! Yes, do celebrate on each resolution's success and completion of each milestones!

There maybe setbacks, but never give up, start afresh immediately (and do not wait for the next new year to renew the same resolution!!..)

Trust yourself. We believe that we are not good in following a resolution and keep sending messages to the brain that we may quit soon and at one point, we quit….(We knew about it already!!!.. right?). If you believe, on the other hand that you can do it, you will do it. Never underestimate yourself!

The other hurdle is lack of interest. Your choice of resolution doesn’t interest you for so long. You just chose a random resolution you thought many are taking or which your friends decided. Nothing specific about you and hence easier for you to quit. Chose a right resolution which you really want to follow and not on influence of your friends or family.

Never generalize your plans. Give precise dates and milestones. When you generalize the goals and the timeframe, you blissfully begin to procrastinate, as these were never in your usual schedule.

Hmm….all those who know me well are really having a great ROTFL there..!! I know!! C'mon friends, by writing all these, I am also motivating myself, COOPERATE!!!

Have Great Resolutions… Have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009


We used to offer the first food we prepare in a day as naivedyam to God in our puja room. One day we were surprised to see the roti we kept there disappeared. We thought the kid might have taken, so did not bother about it. The next day when it repeated, we asked the kid who said he did not take it and there was no chance too, as it was ragi roti which he did not like at all! We were clueless! God accepted our naivedyam as prasadam?? But still couldn’t believe it. One day as there were nothing special, we kept two biscuits, that too disappeared!! God accepts Marie biscuits too? Yes, as said in Bhagavat Gita,

"Patram pushpam phalam toyam
yo me bhaktya prayacchati
tad aham bhakty-upahrtam
asnami pryatatmanah"

(whatever that is offered to God with love and bhakthi, be it a leaf, flower, fruit or water, he accepts it!). We thought of sharing this experience with our family and friends after waiting for another day.

The next day, I moved my computer towards the door, so that I can see the puja room and the puja table and began my usual jobs. After some time, I saw someone peeping through the window…. a squirrel!! I remained still and just let the eyeball watch her! She moved fast towards the puja room as she knew the way very well. I tiptoed behind her and peeped in to watch her. She jumped up to the puja table, holding the dosa with her front feet began chipping it from one edge.. when she almost finished it, she noticed me and left the remaining dosa there and escaped through the window!.. Now this incarnation of God knows that we wouldn’t do anything to it, so she comes in even if we are around.  If nothing else is kept, she pushes off the Annalakshmi and finishes the rice in which devi was sitting!..She is just scared of the little one in our home now who did not allow her to share the pori (puffed rice) from her plate and chases her whenever she sees her, unlike her brother who would jump up on to the chair leaving her to finish from his plate.

Now, how did I find it was a SHE?... She just gave birth to 4 little squirrels in our TV carton!.. She'z gotto be a she.. rite?

Continued here

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We are maid for each other!

Not just for marriages, you should match horoscopes with your maids too!

I wonder how my mother managed to do all the household jobs without complaining. Not just my mother women in those days, my mother in law, my aunties …No washing machine, no mixer grinder, no vacuum cleaner… still they survived without complaints.. without maids….Maybe the earlier versions of God's products were more efficient to work without service packs or patches!

The first maid I remember in my life is Ittha. She worked for my grandmother. She had some speech disorders, so only we knew what she speaks. It was fun to talk to her, but was not the same for her. She never liked me. She rather liked Neyyuttan (she means Nijuttan, my brother) or Monuttan (my cousin brother) just because they gave her a "pachanottu" (the green 5-rupee note) or a "chonna nottu" (the red 2-rupee note) whenever they came for vacations. I now realize that we had "madhyama porutham."

Then a need for a maid did arise only when my son was born and I began to work in Chennai. We appointed Valli who was a gentle woman with a smile always…We had to say good bye to her when we moved in to Pondicherry. With her I guess I had an "Uthama porutham."

In Pondicherry, I had to look for a full time maid as now my mother also planned to go back to Kerala. My husband arranged Mary for me through his office contacts. Though Mary's main duty was to take care of my son, she began to bring both her kids to our home as she had no place to put them .. I ended up baby sitting for all the three kids of almost same age!!… had to send her off politely.

Radha joined me after some days. A well dressed, well mannered, woman who came in cycle everyday. This was love at first sight. My son also liked her. She volunteered to cook for me too.. learnt many Tamil cooking tips from her. "Pathil pathu sreshta porutham!" One day, stupid me thought this hardworking woman deserves more as she is managing a big family including her in-laws single handedly. When the office was hiring for cleaning and maintenance, I asked my husband if he would get her that job.  What will you do then? ..he asked me. I will ask her to find one for me, but she deserves this job and if we don’t do it, we will feel guilty later... I said.  He too felt we should do something for this hardworking lady and she got the job! She arranged another maid for me..
Lalitha.. this stout lady joined with conditions though! She came from a "respectable family" she said. So I should not send her to shops as her relatives who live nearby might see her working for someone! Also she wouldn’t dry the clothes outside… which then became my job.  When the I-can't-do-this list began to grow, I had to send her out!

The next female was again another Mary a short and stout lady, who always smiled, very rarely spoke anything.  I had no other way than to let her remain at home when I went to my son's school and picked him up in the afternoon. We began to notice unknown numbers in our bills…and came to know that they were made during this time when I went out! I dint tell her directly but asked her if she knew one of those number that I got a call from it. She acted as if she did not know, but this was stopped and that was what we wanted. One day as I entered a room where she was mopping, I found her opening my handbag and the moment she saw me she threw it away! I really do not know if she has done it even before!

Total poruthakkedu!

Then there was a loong gap to get another one. Gooodd! Send me a maid… I find it difficult to manage without a maid! My husband laughed when I prayed at the temple nearby..when we came out, our regular pookkaramma asked, Yemma unakku velaikku aal venuma? Without missing a second, I said YES! to her... and turned to my husband and said "Godsent!!"..She pointed towards a frail old woman sitting there.. She said that lady's husband brought in a second wife (I cant type the exact word she said, I have word sensor on!) and sent this lady out.. Her son also doesn’t take care of her listening to his wife! My husband was not as excited though.  He asked me to think a lot before appointing her. She does not even have a home and it’s a trouble to allow her to stay with us. If you ask me, I would say No to this lady. Then its your wish…. He said at first, but then later agreed to me as he couldn’t think of helping me at kitchen too!

Amma, enakku ethachum thailam venum kal valikkuthu..

I gave her Eucalyptus oil. She stretched her leg to me and pointed to her ankle… "inge!" !!!!

She expected me to rub it for her.. un amma mathiri nenachu thechu vidu!!!

Enakku konjam velai varren..!! I moved from there as if I did not notice my husband who was trying to resist laughing!.. When asked her to wash plates for us dinner.. she said.. innikku nee seyyu! Nalelernthu naan.. okva?

The next day morning in bed, I felt something scratching on my feet. I woke up to see this lady grinning at me! Enakku kaliela oru tea venum.. illena mudiyathu.. kasu kodu tea kadayile poi kudichuttu varen!.. I told her I will prepare tea and that she needn’t go out for it. She did not like my tea.. nalelenrthu enakku mattum nee STOPSTAR (she meant Topstar) vangu.. intha thool nallalle (TATA Gold leaves). Enakku oru saree venum, soap venum, powder venum, seeppu venum, sappal venum.. the list went on.  The next day she asked for another podavai, this time she was particular that she needed a saree with zarigai!..  "koyile le naalu peru pappangalle..." she said.  Question of porutham doesn’t arise at all!!

Then came Sivakami, who was good and worked for me for soo long, but recently when someone lured her with thrice the salary I gave, she quit! SIMBLE! (Hope Nina is not reading this!)

Then Saraswathi, who worked in 6 different houses. She was rather a minnal, you never see her entering.. zoom she goes, leaving me working on the after effects of her work, rubbing and washing off the soap from the vessels, checking the dustbin for spoons, my son's sketch pens, keys.. whatever were on the floor when she mops or cleans goes straight into the bin. She said she will do only washing the dishes and mopping the floor, for whatever she did other than that, she needed extra kaasu!, Sanju has just began to walk and she fell one day as the floor was not yet dry after her mopping. When asked her to squeeze it out well before mopping, she said "da parumma… neraya thanniyoda thodacha than enaku oreyadiya ella roomum thodaikka mudiyum naan aaru vootla vela seyren.. oon voodoo mattum thechu thechullam irukka mudiyathu ..ishtamiruntha vachukka.. illena vaanaam"… I had nothing else to think about it.. I said, "vaanam!" asked her to leave at that moment and did not mind her crying or mannippu requests.

Lakshmi, the last maid worked for me till deepavali always complained me about her husband who was not taking care of her or the children. Impressed with her work, I gave her all my son's old clothes, old school bags, my dresses, some accessories. After deepavali, she did not return the day she said, instead I got a call that she had a conflict with her husband and is staying with her parents and will not be coming after that!

Enough is enough!!! No more maids.. let us share the jobs and manage the schedule accordingly, we decided. We prepared our own time charts according to son's school timings, baby's sleep schedules.  We expect no one to do it later, we do it then and there.

Maid for each other!

Friday, November 13, 2009


Pathidev is as usual in the last minute hurry to go to his office.. he just finished reading his newspaper!

I am in the kitchen preparing the hot tea which he wants with his breakfast.. I prepare it just after he comes from his shower so that the tea is really hot (if itsn’t hot he would tell me… chayakku neriya oru pani.. paracetamol vendi varum!

Edo… athevideya .... its from his room now!

Ethu? I asked.

As usual he has “athu” in his mind and expects me to read his mind!

I switched off the chaya preparation and went to his room. He was busy searching for something with a shirt in his hand.. so its not the shirt he is searching for…I guessed.

Socks aano thirayunnathu?

Alledo, matte athu evide! again busy searching without even looking at me!

Then it must be the trousers.. I took one out and gave to him.. he grabbed it from my hand and kept it back to the cupboard..!! but with an anguished look!!

Ithalledo! matte athu! .. this time.. he was shouting!
Deivame.. what did I do? I was trying to help!

At last with a smile, he said..”kitti!”and took another shirt!

But you had a shirt already in your hand?

No I dint want to wear that one.. I was searching for this..he put on the shirt hurrily and asked me.. “Chaya readiyalle?”

Ayyo illa .... I switched it off as I came to help you finding this!

Ennittu neeyano kandupidichathu.. nhanalle?



This happened recently.. the scene is the same … another busy morning!

Edo .. athevide?

I smiled… preparing puttu in one stove and chaya on the other..!

ah! athalle... athu avideyundallo... I really din’t know what is the “athu” this time also..

Now he is baffled .. “Ethu?” he asked me back.
aa athalle .. matte athu...athu avide vachittundu…and continued filling my puttu kutti with puttu podi!


Athinte mukalil I filled in the next layer of coconut.. I visualized him searching on all the available “mukal” in that room.. above the cupboard, above the table… he he he

Nha kitti!

Nhan paranhille avideyundennu!... come for breakfast.. its ready with your hot chaya!

Breakfast is ready.. his hot chaya is ready… at the same time.. I was helping him searching!!

Till this time.. I don’t know what he was searching that day!!!

I am luving it!!!!

A Second Child?

I got lot many opinions on whether or not to have the second one.

“What??? Gone crazy? We are gonna suffer even for one child’s education and bringing up.. and thinking about another one? Grow up!” shouted some of friends and same aged relations.

“Your son will become a lonely child and he really needs a company… plan soon before its late..!!” said the oldies in the family.

“Investing 10 to 15 months of your job and income?” said some friends. “Be happy with what u have!!! ”

“Single children will develop behavioral problems. They should have another one to fight with and to play with so that they will know to face the world.” Oh! I was worried and began noticing my son… if he is showing any behavioral issues… and even when he jumped out of joy or screamed like the “George of the jungle”.. I wondered if this is a behavioral disorder!

Every family get together, I prepared some answers for both.

Now, whenever I have something exciting to share or met a person after a long time, or any old contact sent an invitation in Orkut, its my brother’s number that I dial first… ‘coz he knew all persons in my life “from birth.” He dint bother if it would hurt me if he said the truth that I looked bad in a dress or the way I behaved on an occasion was not appropriate… he would also say how much he admired for some other gesture or if the fish curry I made was the best he has ever had…. His comments were real and that’s for what we need siblings for… they are real… So I thought I will go for one now and I said I want a girl. Again came a number of opinions..

“What if its not a girl?” a boy and a boy is a bad sibling pair. They fight more than girls and it would be a mess and noisy at home. Boy siblings would have ego clashes even when they grow up!.... but girls make good friends when they grow up… elder sister and younger brother is good.. but most of the case, the sister outsmarts the boy… elder brother and younger sister would love and care each other!!!

All hypothetic!.. I have so many examples that goes against with all these assumptions… I moved on .. but I still want a girl! Not for any of those comments above. “then for what?” asked my Gynec. I need a girl for whom I can buy designer bindis, who would wear colorful hair bands, who has a lot variety of dresses, who can wear jewelleries, who can wear a pattupavadai… … for these boys, all you have is a denim or a khakhi! ..

“its for the same reasons, many here wish for a boy!” she said.

As it was not a planned pregnancy, I couldn’t check with any Chinese chart or any such things.. still I took all the “boy or girl” games in the web. I added all the sites which said “it’s a girl” to my favorites and others I skipped. Whenever someone predicted looking at my tummy, I said “thank you” with the widest grin if they said it’s a girl, and if someone said its gonna be a boy, I explained “no no I had a big tummy before as I am fat.. so predictions on the shape of my tummy may not be accurate..” and never talked to them then!!

Many hits in the web said if the fetal heart rate in the sonogram report is 139 or above, it’s a girl and if its less, it’s a boy. I jumped out of joy when the first trimester report read as 167 bpm. I asked the doc about it and she said she never heard about such a study and she said “your baby is hyperactive.. athanale than 167 beats per minute!” I discussed it with my husband.. later in the evening he showed me sites which proved it wrong.. “they do not have enough data.. since it is illegal.. they are just creating a confusion..” I told him.

The second scan also had higher rate… 176. now I confirmed it’s a girl. For the last trimester, my parents were with me.. and my mother came with me for the scan. I went pale when I received the report.. fetal heart rate equals 135! My mom couldn’t resist laughing…. She began informing all about it and I received phone calls from my cousins and friends to console me and to laugh at me..! whenever I had a pain or movement, my mom would ask “payyan othaikkirana?” and whenever they discuss with my son about the baby, they all began referring “avan..”

“Nisha.. you are now revived from your anesthesia, your baby is also healthy!” Said my anesthesiologist after the C-section… boy or girl? I asked. My gynec came to me and said, “Hey your theory seems to be correct.. I will check that from now on in my patients. It’s a girl as you wanted. Nishakku Nisha puyal annikku oru kuttippuyal poranthirukku..” (she was born on November 26th.. the day we were hit by Cyclone Nisha).

Sanjana... Sanju.. the cyclone kid turns one year on 26th of this month.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Do you have an Alien at home?

“What does this look like?” Ranju brought the puri in his plate to me.. he has made some holes in a circle on it and has fitted the cubes of carrots and peas to each hole. There is a big hole on top and there “stands” a curry leaf and some more veggies from the kuruma I gave.

“so you have not eaten the first puri yet?” I screamed. Nowadays, he is not frightened at my high decibel voice! He still asked me.. “tell me, what does it look like.”


He smiled .. “it’s a UFO spaceship!”..

Its all imagination dear, such a thing does not exist.. have you seen any in real life? ….

Even I have not seen Gandhiji, but you said he is the father of our nation.

“But I have shown you his photos and I have read about him to you..!”

Even I have seen aliens and UFO shuttles in movies, pictures and I have read about them too… without even waiting for another explanation from me (actually at that time, I had none.. I was searching for a better explanation!!!).. he moved away from there making some beep noises.

Amma.. this baby is hitting me.. she has become a humangosaurus..

Humango what? I was in front of the computer.. I tried it on the google. It suggested me if it is huayangosaurus, a kind of dinosaur. I told him.. “no da it is not humango it is huayango.”

No that’s a dinosaur.. humangosaurus is an alien which comes in Ben 10 Alien force…! Its very strong amma!

In the preKG days, Ranju used to draw two hills and a sun rising from it.. and would give all color combinations to it..

When he graduated to LKG and UKG.. a house, a tree near it, two birds in the tree, many apples in the tree, a river from the hill near by, and an aeroplane above the house… a couple of clouds. This was his picture always… in different colors and shapes ofcourse..

In first standard.. he began drawing computers, robots, vehicles…

This year.. he brought me a picture… something like a human being, but just one eye, no nose, one big mouth with just two teeth it it… two strands of hair and just 3 fingers which are shapeless and green in colors…. Whats it… just one eye?? That to without eyelids? Just three fingers? What happened to you?

Its an alien amma… something like a Tobi in Harry Potter
One day I had to buy some veggies from the nearby shop.. so I left my kids at home alone and asked Ranju to check through the windows who has come and not to open unless if it is me or his father..

ok amma... but what to do if an alien knocks the door?

I thought I should discuss this with his teachers in this parents meeting. They must be having a better idea how to make them believe its just imagination and how to bring my child out of this stupid alien world.

What alien is your child? My son is “echo-echo” (its another alien from Ben 10 .. now I know that!).. I was startled when a mom who is a teacher in that school asked me!
Er… I guess my son is a “spider monkey”…
No amma.. that was last month.. now I am a “Big chill!” said Ranju standing next to me.

I asked her how to explain our kids about this stupid thing.. “forget it..” she said.. its their world let them enjoy.. when they are old enough.. they will know these are all just funny imaginations.. until then let them have some heroes from these aliens.. let them enjoy those tattooes.. she said. Did our parents worry much when we believed “zigma, heman, and spider man was real?”

If anyone could understand all these names above, I bet you have a pre-teen kid at home.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wrong Question

Ranju just brought in his answer papers. As I went through answers, he has made all correct but his poem. That was crossed by his teacher and no marks! I checked it with the poem in his text book... all correct. Then checked his question paper, the question was for another poem. He was as usual busy changing channels there when I told him that he wrote a wrong answer. Without missing a beat.. he answered.. "Amma, the question is wrong, the Poem is correct!"

Again photo from my brother's collection.  Backrop is Mananchira Square, Calicut.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sabka Malik Ek!

This photo was taken on February 26, 2006 at Kalapet Shirdi Baba Temple by my brother, Nishad Gopal.
Sada nimba vrukshasya mooladhi vasad
Sudhasravinam thikthamapya priyam tham
Tharum kalpavrukshadhikam sadhayantham
Namameeswaram sadgurum sainatham!