November 21, 2013

Guest Writer

While I am dealing with my writer's block issues, I have a post from a guest writer.

She is very close to my heart, she is all of 7 years, she is an aspiring writer, she is my dear daughter A. This was written for the PTA Reflections Competition, and this year's theme is "Believe, Dream, Inspire".

This was judged at her school yesterday and her work has been selected to move to the District level.

UPDATE: Jan 28th 2013: This was judged at the District level and won the first prize and will move to the State level.

Katie’s Day at the Olympics

Once upon a time there lived a little girl named Katie. She lived in a little house with her big sister Lucy, Mom and Dad. Her big sister loved participating in competitions and she was now going to the Olympics and tomorrow was the day of the Olympics! Katie was so excited to finally get to watch her big sister in the Olympics!! All through the day Katie was waiting to see the Olympics with Lucy in it!! Katie hurried to the first row in the stadium she couldn’t miss a thing! Katie waited for the Olympics to start, finally it started, the drums were loud, the horns were tooting everything was loud until Lucy’s turn came. Katie swallowed hard if Lucy didn’t win then me, Lucy, Mom and Dad would all be sad, Katie thought. Out came Lucy and started to do her routine on the beam….then the bars, the judges looked at Lucy and then at each other and then finally said Lucy is the winner of our gymnastics competition!!! Katie clapped for Lucy!

After some years Katie stepped out of the Olympic waiting room and smiled at everyone, then she did the same thing as Lucy had done, only a different routine and she kept saying results, results, results. Finally the results came…..yessssss! Katie got the “GOLD” medal. Just before she recived it she looked at the audiance and where she had been cheering for Lucy and smiled!!

                                                The End

October 17, 2013

Rituals - Part 1

Leela recognized the fragrance from a distance, it was the one with which she had lived for the first decade of her life. She picked up the jasmine scented candle and handed it to the cashier along with a twenty dollar bill.  “You will love this one”, said the cashier Sara as she wrapped the candle carefully with tissue, “I’m sure you will be back for more”.  Leela looked up at her with a distant look in her eyes, collected her bag and whispered, “I wish I had gone back for more”.

It had been a long day, she felt drained; physically from the 9 hours at work and emotionally from the 90 minutes at Dr. Wang’s office.  She had finalized a major deal for a high stake project for her bank that day, but had failed to bank anything from her session with Dr. Wang except for advice to brighten up her evenings with warm candles to keep the negative thoughts at bay.

She settled in her favorite chair with a bowl of mushroom soup with just a hint of cream.  The warm soup felt like it was made for the crispy autumn night, just like the candle that burned on the table next to her.  The fragrance was distinct like the memories it brought with it. Her face had always shone even from a distance like she carried the bright round sun on her forehead, lit by the diamonds on her ears and nose, clad in deeply dyed saris.  The strand of jasmine flowers had always completed the look of Leela’s Amma, as she called her.

“I will be scared without you Amma”, were Leela’s last words to her.  Amma’s reply echoed in her ears as clear as they had sounded thirty five years ago “I will always be with you Leelu, when you are in doubt think of me and you will know what to do”.  

She had always been in doubt, since the day she had traveled, in what seemed an endless journey to live with her parents, who were no less strange than the new country itself. 

To be continued....

September 24, 2013

Milestone Day

This is going to be a personal milestone day. A is going to be attending her first book club today at the local library. I have been more excited than her and its a big day for me. Yes I am that mushy kind of mom who records every small moment with teary eyes. It will be one of those moments today when I drop her off at the door. But inside I will be doing a happy dance for sure!
And the icing on the cake? A announced that she wants to be a writer when she grows up! I know, I know they change the answer to that at the drop of  a hat, but for now I will take that, and happily too!

I have been asked by a lot of people about how we went about learning to read, and I have composed those emails many a times. I thought it would be good to record it here for my own reference in a few years for little Av. Will soon write about that. And by the way we have a little story teller in her already. Today my nap time story was "One day....Kikka (Krishna) wanted butter. Kikka eat butter and went to sleep. Cried mamma mamma, wa-wa-wa".

September 23, 2013

My little girl

Dear Av,

When you are ready to read this blog, I know exactly what you will say to me. “So many posts about A and no posts about me till I was 22 months?”  I was beginning to get nightmares about this question that I have to face in my future, so better late than never, here is my first letter to you!

You came into this world when someone else already meant the world to me. A was special, she is still special, she is my first born. I first experienced motherhood with her; we spent 5 years together before you came. But in those 5 years, there were many occasions when we spoke about you, planned how we would do this and that when you would be there. We always knew our family was incomplete without you.

When we first told A about you being inside me, she was thrilled beyond words. My second set of nine months became really special because of this beautiful bond that I saw being born between the two of you. We even had a time allotted every day where we would spend alone time with you. A would draw pictures for you on my belly; she would talk to you and sing to you. And once you were here I only saw this bond between you two getting stronger and stronger amidst all the love and fights.  Because of you I realized the meaning of sibling love, something I have never experienced before.  I loved the moment when I held you the first time, but honestly I loved the moment when I saw your sister hold you for the first time more!

You are the official stress buster of the house. Your smile can turn any dull moment into a fulfilling one.  If I have to describe you in two words I would say “Sweet Naughtiness”. You can get away with any crime with those eyes and smile.  You have brought about a new meaning to fun in our lives.

About why I have not written about you till now, there is only one reason.  I have been so busy with you! Chasing you, stopping you from danger while you were doing somersaults in the yard; standing head down from the sofa; hanging from the table;  swinging from chairs; sliding down the stairs; Running after you to eat your food!  And when I get a few moments away from all this I would be so exhausted and the last thing I wanted to do is write about you! I love you to death, and though you have heard me complain to people how the two girls are so different from each other, I wouldn't have you any other way.  While A did everything the perfect way since she was a baby, you are perfect the way you are!

Love - Mimi

August 20, 2013

My Favorite Things

I found a story/poem that I had written and would tell A when she was around 2. She was in that avid learner stage where at the end of the day her mind would race with all the adventures of the day. This was an effort to make her relax. Want to keep the memories of it alive by recording it here. Will also be something new and fresh to share with Av.

As mommy kisses me goodnight
And turns off the light,
I hug my bunny
With my eyes shut tight.

And then I think of my favorite things,
And the colors in my mind spread their wings.

I think of the blue sky,
Way up high.
Like the birds,
I want to fly, fly, fly.

I think of the green grass
With the cool dewdrops.
Like the grasshoppers,
I want to hop, hop, hop.

I think of the red flowers
With their sweet nectar.
Like the butterflies,
I want to flitter and flutter.

I think of the yellow sun
With its rays warm and fine.
Like the sunshine,
I want to shine, shine, shine!

I hug my bunny with
My eyes shut tight.
As I think of my favorite things,
The colors in my mind turn into sweet dreams.

July 26, 2013

Yours or Mine?

After a six week stay in Bangalore, India, I feel I have loads to write about. Not about all the time I have hidden away from blog land but about the experiences and thoughts during my trip back "home"(?) .

Yes the question mark says it all. Finally there is a question mark next to the word home. There were no doubts before when I associated that word with Bangalore. It was always home. But the changes to my city, if I may call it so, has left me numb. A lot of things about it has changed and there were very few things I could relate to. That is what happens when you do not stay to watch something grow I guess!

And grown it has in many ways. I was hardly shocked by the malls and high rises that have sprung up across the city, I had read about them and had more than expected such changes in a city growing at supersonic speed. But what struck me as a big change was the lifestyle people led. The attitude that drives their lives. To my mind which is stuck at Bangalore in 2002, that is a huge culture shock. I felt dated in the city, not knowing where to hang out, always talking in the wrong language at the wrong time. Constantly checking the price of things and quickly putting it down hoping nobody noticed me doing that, especially if they knew I am visiting from the "US". I felt alien there at most times. And to add to my woes on a personal front I was staying at houses I did not grow up in, areas that I did not know by rote.

For a person who was in love with her city, it was hard and I needed an outlet to vent, a target to blame. So I blamed it on the outsiders who have made the city their home. Who have shifted the local language to suit their comfort. And if you are surrounded by hard core Bangaloreans, its a feast for your mouth to talk endlessly about how your city has been taken over by these aliens.

And then something happened, during the last week of my stay, I happened to spend a couple of hours at a beauty salon attended to by the so called aliens. There were women who had come from far off states and neighboring countries in search of greener pastures. With my face taken over by masks and eyes and mouth sealed their stories were like music to my ears. One was a girl from a small village in the North East parts of India, who managed to study a little but hardly found opportunities. She was suppressed by the taunts of the villagers and finally decided to leave with her husband to this "Land of Opportunities" about three years ago. I asked her if she found what she wanted, if she was happy here. Her face lit up as she said she loves the place and plans to never leave. Her friend had a similar story and even said that the city gave her a life she had always yearned for. I thanked them and was leaving as I heard them conversing with the maid in Kannada. I turned back with surprise, they smiled and said will do anything to make this place our home.

The city that I once called mine, which I would still love to call mine, has become the "Land of Opportunities". Life hits right back at you doesnt it?

January 16, 2013

Through the eyes of a child

I met a little girl of about 3 years when I was at the pediatrician's office yesterday with Av. She was there with her little brother of about 3-4 months and her dad. She entered into the office and immediately scanned the room with those beautiful alert eyes and independently took off her coat and started playing with some toys around there. I was really surprised about how confident and independent she was as she handled herself and her belongings all on her own.

Her dad was busy on a phone call and even stepped out for a few minutes leaving the two of them when her little brother started crying. She ran to his side and rocked his car seat and caught me red handed staring at her wide eyed. I gave her the biggest smile to tell her she was doing a great job when her dad came back in. He hurriedly told the person on the other side that he needs to take care of the kids and hung up. For a couple of minutes everything was good and the dad was involved with the baby as the little girl played near them happily explaining what she was playing.

And before she knew it her dad was browsing on the phone while she kept trying to get his attention. She called out to him to show how she had arranged some blocks of the same colors together, she got no response. She called "Dad" again and again and each time she was louder until finally she got a response from him. "Don't scream, haven't I told you not to talk in such a loud voice when we are outside".  The girl looked away and looked at me with a hurt look in her eyes, and that was one of those moments that forces you to rethink how you react to things.

I have done it so many times, when I have been distracted, stressed and overburdened. Retorted back at the kids without pausing to see why they did what they did in the first place.
She then kept talking to him and telling him how she had come to this place when she was so little, when mommy was there and she was there and daddy was there. And she kept repeating it over and over again just to say that just being together then was such a warm feeling that she still remembers it now.

They used to say Stop to Smell the Roses, maybe we need to add Disconnect to Connect with the kids loved ones!

January 2, 2013

Happy 2013

I have always been the kind, who would turn to a new sheet at school if I got stuck with something and start afresh. I have always loved new beginnings though I am the sentimental types and clutch onto things from the past. Needless to say I love the novelty a new year brings and leaves me all inspired.

My resolution for the year is simple, to reach out, communicate, open up, come out of my shell. But as simple as it sounds people who know me know how hard that is for me. So I am leaving it at that and adding nothing else. If I can achieve even a little and call myself a more social person at the end of 2013 I will be glad. So if it is not obvious enough the plan is to blog a lot and respond to every comment. :) So for all you people who want to help me in the process and comment regularly, thank you in advance.

Wishing everyone peace, health and happiness this year. And here is some inspiration with a few lines from a song from the musical Mame.

Open a new window,
Open a new door,
Travel a new highway,
That's never been tried before;
Before you find you're a dull fellow,
Punching the same clock,
Walking the same tight rope
As everyone on the block.
The fellow you ought to be is three dimensional,
Soaking up life down to your toes,
Whenever they say you're slightly unconventional,
Just put your thumb up to your nose.
And show 'em how to dance to a new rhythm,
Whistle a new song,
Toast with a new vintage,
The fizz doesn't fizz too long.
There's only one way to make the bubbles stay,
Simply travel a new high way,
Dance to a new rhythm,
Open a new window ev'ry day!