Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011!

Wishing you all a wonderful year ahead!

I usually don't make resolutions - I have none for this year either. I'm just hoping to become a better person... and probably blog more regularly :)

Cheers!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Comeback Post - Part IV: Trick-a-Treat

Pattu has tasks to complete and she's been whining and making excuses. So, when she wanted noodles for dinner, I firmly told her that noodles will be her treat for completing her tasks.
Somehow she pushed herself (and a lot of others) to complete them.

Noodles for dinner. Happy Pattu.

Pattu finishes quickly without any goading from amma/appa and without spilling (they are precious you see...she takes care not to drop).
The moment we said, "Good Pattu!" she just grabs the opportunity and says, "Amma, since I finished my food can I have Gems?"

Now that's called a 'Treat for a Treat' .... Smaarrrt girrrrlll Pattoo... (Amma thinks in 'Raaberrt' style)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Comeback Post - Part III: In which Pattu shows the Middle Finger

"Ammmmaaaa....see here..." says Pattu with a broad smile on her face.

While the Amma is trying to gather herself and look normal, Pattu's smile fades to an expression of utter dissappointment, "This is my tallest finger amma..."

Why, of course! Oooff!! Thank god I have some more time to deal with this!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Comeback Post - Part II - In which Pattu appeals to the Prime Minister

I didn't realise that a simple explanation of, 'The Prime Minister takes care of the country and its citizens', that too a very long time back, would lead to this...

Pattu, in the throes of stomach cramps hugs her tummy and cries, "Please help ... Mr Manmohan Singh, please help!"
 
!!!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Come Back Post - Chapter I - Hey!

Hey folks, been away for a while, no particular reason - just been occupied with some important and some inane things. Pattu hasn't really been in the pink of her health last month. I'm hoping the current bout of cold will be the last for this season and we can cheerfully look forward to Santa's gifts... She wants a pair of Yellow Ladder Slide Shoes and a box of Extra Dark pencils.

She has quite an impressive collection of pencils to fill a museum - that sends me on a trip down memory lane..... where pencils used to be rationed and the life of each pencil was carefully tracked. We used the pencils till the last bit of lead while Pattu abandons pencils when they are just 2 inches short. That just shows that it is time to take stock... maybe she'll get a letter from Santa saying she has too many while lot of other kids have none... not sure if it is too early for that kind of letter... still, I think I should try that...

Btw, anyone who's already visited the Dastakari Haat at Kalakshetra? Planning to catch it this weekend if it doesn't rain

Last but not the least, The Little Theatre is back with their pantomime, RipVan Wrinkle at Museum Theatre between 17th to 21st December. They say it is suitable for ages 2+ to 80, last year's experience tells me it would be better to validate that - just a word of caution.
Now, off I go to catch up on all the blogs I missed...

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Happy Deepavali

Here's wishing you all a sparkling Deepavali and a safe one as well!

Pattu is excited but still a bit scared of crackers. I think she'll stay indoors and we'll do with a few sparklers and flower pots as usual.
MIL has made some yummy snacks and the deepavali lehiyam is cooking as I type. I used to hate this as a child but I quite like it now, in fact more than the sweets and snacks.

I was talking to Apu yesterday and we were discussing how Deepavali was so different when we were young. The early morning oil bath, who's first to break the dawn with 'saram vedi' (crackers), new dress, bakshanam that was made at home (sweets and snacks), lehiyam and discuss how many burst atom bombs (one of the expensive crackers) and how some were fortunate enough to have two new dresses for deepavali. Budgets for crackers were fixed and we used to ration our stock to last till the night. I used to show off by lighting kuruvi vedi and oosi vedi with my hands (and delight that some boys didn't dare to do that).

All these were novelty at that time.Today, the new clothes and bakshanam are no longer exciting as they are available round the year. Wonder what Deepavali stands for the kids of today... Pattu is too small, so I can't really tell. What probably excites her is that we are all at home with her and there's something special happening...

So, what's your Deepavali story?

Monday, October 04, 2010

First Day First Show

Yes, I made it to the first day first show (the early morning 7.30 show! But I hear that there were some 5.30 AM shows as well) of Endhiran! Got tickets only in Escape and hence missed all the pooja, crackers and such festivities. We did witness some of that on our way right outside Jayanthi and Melody theaters.
What Rocked: The Robot, special effects, Rajini back as the villain
What could have been better: Rahman's Music, Comedy (I was surprised to see that the comedy track was weak - no Vivek/ Vadivelu!!), Aishwarya's dancing
What I missed: Rajini's usual punch dialogues, style gimmicks (we didn't see any flipping the goggles kind if thing). The scientist Rajini was actually like a scientist - he couldn't fight, dance... Rajini is Rajini, he is even more superhuman than the Robot... that didn't come through :(

The special effects were truly world class - awesome! A thorough entertainer.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Dis'periments, anyone?

Pattu: Can we do disperiments today?
Amma: Ain? What's that?
Pattu: Tch... what we did that day with water
Amma: (who figured out by now but won't cooperate) What did we do?
Pattu: Dis-peri-ments
Amma: Dis-periments
Pattu: (looking impatient)  You put salt in water and it dis... disappeared? (she forgot the word 'dissolved') That Dis-periment. We'll put sand today and see...ok?
We really love a mess, don't we.
Amma: You mean 'Experiment' where we saw the salt 'Dissolve'
Pattu: Not willing to give up. Adu thaan amma, 'dissolve' pannara experiment.... adu thaan 'Dis-periment'..ok? (That's what amma, the experiment that dissolves...that is 'Dis-periment'..ok?)

As you say Pattu!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I'm a Proud Owner of...


...a Quentin Blake book!!! Finally!!!

                                              British Council had a sale and I rushed in time to pick up the only QB on sale - Mrs Armitage on Wheels. I really like Mrs Armitage - she's crazy, clumsy and absolutely entertaining, with her little dog Breakspear. I was hoping to find my favourite - 'The Clown', no such luck though...


While I am quite pleased with what I took home, I really wish they would put books on sale while they are in reasonably good condition. Some were quite tattered.

But yes, I picked up few other interesting books...here's the list...

A very good deal indeed!

 All Images Courtesy: Amazon

Monday, September 20, 2010

What a bum!

When Pattu was barely two and becoming extremely interested in physiology and anatomy of the human body, the 'thoppai' (tummy) was the first to fascinate her. The bigger, the better was her idea then. She would stand in front of the mirror and examine her 'thoppai' for a long time. At times she would insist on examining the amma's and appa's 'thoppais' as well, launching into some descriptive comparisons that'll make you squirm. Then came a day when an innocent visitor to our house was subject to similar examination.

Pattu: 'Ungalukku thoppai irukka?' Do you have a tummy?
Guest: **GULP** or  **AARRGHH** or a brave or one with a sense of humour would nonchalantly quip, 'Yes, I do have'
Pattu: Kaattungo ...Show....
We haven't seen a guest survive that attack.

Soon after the thoppai, she picked up the 'Bum' word, thanks to us! So you can imagine the plight of the guests!


Pattu: 'Ungalukku bum irukka?' Do you have a bum? Kaattungo ...Show....

For a while we didn't have visitors!

Ming Lo moves the mountain and others

All Images Courtesy: Amazon.com
Pattu Rating: 4.5
Ming Lo moves the mountain is an interesting Chinese tale that we read last weekend. Ming Lo and his wife live at the foothills of this huge mountain. By the time we say, 'Wow!', they tell us how unpleasant it is, because small break away stones fall on their house leaving holes on the roof through which water drips during rain and  hardly a ray of light passes through their window since the mountain blocks the sun. SIGH. So, one day Ming Lo's wife sends her husband to the wise man in the village (every Chinese village seems to have a wise man who just sits and smokes a pipe) to find a solution. So, obediently he goes. The wise man hears him out and draws long on his pipe and smoke swirls around his head. Then he tells Ming Lo to take a huge tree and push it against the mountain. He goes back home and executes the plan, but the mountain doesn't budge. Ming Lo goes back, the wise man draws longer from his pipe and the cloud of smoke is thicker around his head. Then he gives another idea - take a spoon and some utensils and beat throughout the night. The mountain will get scared and run away. Well, few more such ideas are executed and while we are thinking, 'If this is the wise man, then save the poor village', the wise old man knocks you over with his final idea which actually works for Ming Lo and his wife! Yes, the mountain finally relents and moves!!  You realise then that it was the wise man's way of telling Ming Lo and his wife it is such a folly to expect the mountain to move. There are some people who just don't get the message and they deserve a solution like this...

Pattu Rating: 4.2
 How Far Will I Fly by Sachi Oyama is another beautiful tale from Japan. Quiet, profound and yet very very simple in its style. It tackles big questions through conversations of a small boy with his grandmother. He starts will, 'How tall will I be?' and moves on to ask many more such questions. The grandmother answers in a single sentence that leave you thinking for many more minutes and hours later. I particularly like, 'How big will my arms be?' and 'How far will my friends be? and of course, the question in the title.
This book reflects the Japanese culture and leaves you thinking about many many more questions....The illustrations - soft pastels, pleasant, highlight the quiet depth of the messages. Go get the book, I'm not giving away anymore.
Pattu understood this in her own way - how deep? I don't know. But this is something that I'll treasure and read out to her at different stages. I'm sure she'll get more out of this every time. And so will I, I hope.



Pattu Rating: 4.8
 Something Good was Bizarre Fun! Tyya goes shopping with her dad. While dad throws in spinach, milk, eggs, bananas and the likes into the trolley, Tyya decides to looks for something good instead of all the boring things that is in the trolley. So, she picks up her own trolley and loads it with 300 candies. All excited about her find, she shows off to her dad who promptly tells her that candies are 'sugary junk'. The disheartened Tyya puts them back and looks for something else that is good... this goes on and finally her dad has to tell her to be stand quietly in a corner while he  completes shopping. Tyya following her dad's instruction to the T finds herself being poked, knocked and finally put on the shelf with even a price tag on her! And finally, how both Tyya and her dad buy something good from the store makes this cute little story.
Pattu obviously related to this so well. Did this make our shopping trips and the bring down demand for candies and chocolates? NO! :D

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Art and Craft Trail - Part I

If you've seen M.A.D on Pogo or Mr Maker on Ceebeebies, you would, without doubt, be itching to try out some of those little art and craft ideas by yourself. It is when you set out to execute that plan, that you realise that you don't have some things that'll make it as pretty as the ones you've seen them make. I just love Mr Maker's Doodle Drawers and wish I had one like that. Whenever I visit the regular neighborhood shops for art and craft supplies, I find them lacking in most of the interesting things - like the wiggly eyes, beads and foam sheets for instance. Ask them where to find these and they would promptly tell you to go to Parry's Corner.
Having heard enough, I finally trotted off along with a friend who was as excited about it besides being more familiar with the area. I've only scraped the tip of the iceberg and I still have lots to report!
We first went to Rahman Decorations. A huge market with both gaudy and pretty decoration materials. Danglers, streamers, grass carpets, gift bags - you just name it! Found some pretty cane baskets, candles, vase, flowers, birthday confetti, wall stickers etc.The cane baskets were tempting, but I exercised restraint and moved on. We were looking for handmade paper and we were given some names and directions. Most of them were wholesale dealers and were reluctant to give us a few sheets. We finally found one dealer (whose shop was more like a hole in the wall) who didn't shoo us away. He had a wonderful collection. Papers of varying thickness, coarseness, colours, design - self, glitter and dry leaf types. Irresistible! If you love handmade paper, you'll love this collection!
Here's the name and address:
Kibla Paper and Stationery Stores, 27, Anderson Street, Parrys, Chennai 600001. Mail - kibladiary@yahoo.co.in; Phone: 044-25380985/ 044-25380986
I still hadn't found my wiggly eyes, chenille sticks and pompoms. After some asking around, RR Fancy seemed to be the place to go.We hopped over puddles and navigated some difficult lanes to find RR Fancy Stores snugly sitting next to the famous Saravan Bhavan. Knowing the Sowcarpet area, we didn't expect it to be a big, fancy place but we didn't expect a shop of this size to have pretty much every art and craft material one can name.
Here's the address and the phone number : No 8, Umpherson Street, Chennai 108. Broadway, Near Saravana Bhavan Hotel. Ph: 8124757562/ 044-42064586.

So, finally what did I buy? Here's the list of things that I carried back home:
- Wiggly eyes - so many sizes, shapes and colours...and nose
- Quilling kits complete with the tool box
- Wax for candle making
- Gel wax
- Candle molds
- Wicks, Wick holders, Aromas and colours for candle making
- Glass cut to size for painting
- Emboss painting kits
- Paints - Ceramic paints, glass paints, fabric outliners, various 3D and glitter shades
- Foam sheets
- Felt material in different colours
- Handmade paper  various colours and designs
- Books on the basics and some designs
- Beads, buttons, threads
- Pre stitched zardosi patters and stones - you just have to stick it with glue
- Pompoms
- Set of brushes

What they also had:
- Canvas stretched on boards and canvas rolls
- Complete materials required for oil painting
- Ceramic powder and molds for ceramic art
- Plaster of paris with molds
- Different types, designs of molds
- Paper - all kinds including quilling supplies
- All things required for Zardosi work, borders, designs etc
- Lace
- Wool, knitting materials, Knitting kits
- Embroidery materials
- Craft punches
- Complete charcoal set

What I still haven't found
- Chenille sticks/ Pipe cleaners
- Furry pompoms
- Bendable wires 

The Glass paintings would have dried by now...will post a pic soon...



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

While I was away

...lots of Happy Birthdays happened...
  • This blog turned one - since my first post i.e. Happy Birthday Blog!
  • Puttu turned 4 - a few friends out here saw the ticker and wished too - That was really nice guys...thank you sooo much! We had a simple and small get together at home.
  • Krishna and Ganesha were born

...I went gallivanting...
  • I set out on an Art and Craft trail and discovered some wonderful shops selling artsy craftsy stuff, tucked away in some nondescript corners - I promise to cover these in a few parts.

...some experiments
  • I tried my hand at some art and craft stuff - made some candles and tried glass painting besides the pottery workshop

AND...I won ..


Pottery Workshop

...at Lets Do Something was even better than what they had organised last time. Last time, the entire workshop was spent on the wheel while this time we had a mix of the wheel and some clay molding. I looked at what the 8 yr olds had done in the morning session and got cold feet but it was too late to back out. I had paid up by then. The teacher must have sensed my apprehension, she was quick to dismiss my fears and I turned out alright.

So, what did we make? Roses, Calla Lily and other assorted flowers, candle holder, a face mask, few pots, an incense holder and couple of murals with all the flowers and leaves that we had made. They are drying now and am waiting to paint it next weekend.



I don't have the other pictures handy with me...but will surely update....




We had a very good teacher and she apparently runs a center dedicated to clay art, besides having a full time job!! Some people have all the energy (and talent too) *SIGH*. I'm also signing up for terracotta jewelry making workshop next month - there were some on display - Awesome is the word!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Pattu Wants

Ladder Slide Shoes. After she pointed out to the said shoes, I didn't have a choice but agree with the description though disagree with the choice.


Here's the Ladder Slide Shoes (Image Courtesy: designer-shoes.me.uk)


I'm back after a long break and have lots of updates.... Pattu, art and craft, the most recent pottery workshop etc... brb!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Workshops unlimited

at Lets Do Something. Here's a sneak peak and for details, visit their website or just call them up...



Am going for the pottery session on 12th and 18th. There's also a free Drawing and Painting competition for children on 25th September.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Flex-it: My Entry

Here's my entry for the womensweb contest.

Flexibility at work is still viewed as a favour by many employers though there is a growing awareness of its importance. Only recently have many employers realised talent/ resource drain owing to lack of flexibility. It is an obvious reason why women drop out of an otherwise successful career. Some of the large organisations have taken steps towards creating a more flexible and a more friendly workplace for employees. Flexibility means many things:

1. Having a flexible 8 hour schedule - as in you can clock in 8 hours at your convenience. Say, I want to be at home between 1 PM to 4 PM, I should have the flexibility to break my day into two parts - 8 AM to 1 PM and 4 PM to 7 PM.

2. Having a flexible 8 hour schedule + Having flexibility in work location: For the same situation as above, I should be able to clock in one part of my day from home. Another situation could be reporting to office once or twice a week while working from home the rest of the week.

3. Having a flexible 40 hour per week schedule: Say, I work 10 to 12 hours a day for 4 days and take the rest of the week off.
4. Having the flexibility to opt for a role that does not involve travel/ shifts/ client interaction/ etc. The problem with something like this is that some of these roles might not exist naturally in the organisation and in many cases the policies don't allow it and it would depend on the supervisor to find alternatives.

5. Having options such as: getting paid for the quantum of work/ the number of hours clocked in.

One of the main constraints that I've noticed is that of measuring productivity. Most of the apprehension about 'flexibility' revolves around measuring productivity. 'When the employee is not right in front of me, how can I be sure that I'm getting the best out of him/ her'? The only way to resolve this would be to define tasks and have a clear measure of quality and productivity.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Flex-it

It is contest time again! After the roaring success of  its 'Mommy Guilt' contest, Womensweb is back with yet another interesting theme for the next contest - "Flex the workplace". The employers are not asking us for ideas anyway, so let's spill it all here. There's an incentive as well and a very relevant one I must say.
You have time till 25th August ladies...

*Hopping off to write my entry*

Friday, August 06, 2010

'Fear' and 'Hope'

Utbt had tagged me (long long ago) to list down my 5 fears. So, here I go.

1. Am I making the right choices for Pattu? I worry about the choices that I am making for Pattu. Am I doing the right things? There are so many theories, opinions, conventional wisdom and then there's ones own instinct that is sometimes conflicting. I hope it turns out ok.
2. Children's safety. I don't have to say more. This planet seems to be getting more dangerous by the day, especially for the children. It is just so depressing.
3. Snakes - they visit our neighbourhood once in a while. Really!
4. The maid won't turn up tomorrow! The maid, the nanny and the driver will ditch on the day I have an unavoidable meeting and hubby is not in town!!!! *SHIVERS AT THE THOUGHT*
5. That my smile won't be returned and I'll look silly. 

Having said that, I never lose hope. I hope for a better life, better place, better world. I hope for the best, no matter what news I read/ see.

I think I am supposed to tag a few...so here you are: (the usual suspects) - Jayashree, Hema, Lavanya, Chotu's Mom...


I just saw IHM's post - I really hope her daughter gets well soon. Somehow, when children suffer, no matter who they are, the pain is just the same. Prayers.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pattu Theories

At a wedding:

Aunty A : Come here, sing me a rhyme
Pattu acts deaf
Aunty A : Do you know Humpty Dumpty?
Pattu relents..and sings - Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
Aunty A : Nooo... that's the second line... the first line is, 'Humpty Dumpty sat on a wa;;'
Pattu: This is a different Humpty Dumpty. It goes (and sings in her own tune), 'Humpty Dumpty jumped up and fell down from the wall..'. You don't know this?



Meesaila manne ottalaye... (Meaning...something like 'the fall didn't hurt')

At home - Pattu is deep in thought and translating the thoughts into a sketch. To the Amma it looks like a triangle that is struggling to become a circle and goofing up miserably.

Amma: What is this?
Pattu: Still engrossed and a little annoyed at the unnecessary interruption. This is Meeks
Amma: Duh?! Er.. What is Meeks?
Pattu: Still Annoyed. Not even looking up. Tch... Meeeeks! It is a world
Amma: Humpf... A word??
Pattu: Sigh. Worlllllld amma... worllllld (She must have thought her amma to be an illiterate)
Amma: Oh, ok, what world?
Pattu: (who by then had drawn long lines radiating from the triangle-circle) There are lots of children there ... see..(and points to the long lines)
Amma: These are children??
Pattu: Defensive at last. The children there have looooong legs...see (again points to the long lines)

She scribbled on it before I could take a picture. The world (including Meeks) has lost a masterpiece :(

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Duh!sai Trick

A - (announcing with visible pride) I figured out how to get the first dosai right
B - Oh really? For me, the tawa usually behaves well after messing up the first dosai
A - Yeah, but the firt one always posed a problem. It sticks and you have to fight with it. But today, I got even the very first one right
(and A made it sound like the dosai sprang up obediently and did a somersault in mid air before getting its belly tanned on the tawa)
B - Oh, that's something...
A - I figured out the trick - you have to get the tawa to the right temperature - not too hot, not warm.. just about moderate and then dab a film of oil before pouring the batter. It comes clean.
B - Oh....interesting....is there some indicator for the right temperature?
A - Not sure... (thinking)
B - You have to check if this is a repeatable process...

Men make even kitchen conversations sound like some serious lab experiment!

On a different note, looks like there's still hope for (Wo)mankind!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Random Jottings...

We visited Mahamudra, the new restaurant attached to a spa at Mylapore. What an ambiance! Food wise, you do get a lot of the routine stuff and some very different (and healthy) dishes - uses some of the native pulses like corn, maize, ragi and the likes. We loved it. I would say, go with an open mind and explore. Only pure vegetarian. There's a small shop attached, carrying an impressive assortment of jute, cane, palm leaf, stone, metal, fabric and paper stuff. All environment friendly. And then there's the spa, gym, beauty parlour etc. Indulgence.

We checked out Crimson Chakra - Pattu waddled happily in the water enclosure. Food was good, very good indeed. We were a large group and they had this really nice and convenient concept called the 'set menu'. It is something like a buffet that's served to you at the table. You get very good spread, you don't waste, you don't waste a lot of time ordering and there's no confusion either.

Dosa Calling at Adyar - One can't complain, food is decent. But the taste is easily forgettable. Good place to go if you are looking for something clean, safe and affordable for breakfast or brunch.

Before signing off - some Velachery updates: Sangeetha has its restaurant at Velachery now!
Some more new blocks on the road are:

- Red Carpet - Footwear
- CreMeMore - Ice creams
- Sketch - Clothes
- Baker's Code - Bakery

All on Bye Pass Road.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hindi Mein Labo

....says Pattu when I slip in some English words into our conversations in 'Hindi'. Here's a glimpse of Pattu brand of Hindi
As though homework is not painful enough, Pattu insists that we have our homework interactions only in Hindi! So, here we go - me in my broken Hindi and Pattu in her brand of flawless, pure, fluent Hindi:

Amma: Pehle pencil theek se pakdo
Pattu: Barke pencil pakdo karo ke
Amma: Box ke andar likho
Pattu: Karke deko arke box lene ki
Amma: Forgetting Hindi in frustration... You have to write in this box Pattu, not there
Pattu: Darka tum ne friend ke scold karo ke ni barke ni 'pechi kaa' karo ke ni. Karo ke tum?
('Pechi Ka' is 'will not talk to you' in Tamil)
Amma: Theek hai, sorry, tum abhi homework khatam karo
Pattu: Paar ke deko ni tum box kene five kare
Amma: Pattuuu... yahaan, small letters ..
Pattu: Hindi mein labo! 'Small' Hindi ki? Hindi mein labo!
Darka?
Amma: ***Giving up. In splits!

Apparam yeppadiyo labo labonnu homework oru vazhiya mudichom!
(Finally we finshed homework 'labo-ing' in Hindi)

Monday, July 05, 2010

Back to School Updates

School reopening was delayed for CBSE schools and soon after that we went back to holiday mood in Chennai owing to the Tamizh Maanadu. Just when the school routine was setting in, there's the bandh today! Here are some school updates...

1st day of school: We heard that Pattu insisted on sitting in her previous teacher's class (previous teacher has been promoted to class I). She walked out of her class and sat in Class I saying, "This is my teacher, I'll sit here only". And a few others followed her. It took a few teachers, ayahs and other staff a good one hour to get her to accept her new teacher, it looks like.

Reality Strikes: It has been three weeks now and we are already getting home work! I avoided my homework very well, but looks like I can't do that with Pattu's.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Sinfully Yours

The River of Sin is flowing through the blog world and why should I be left behind! Apu and  Momo's Ma have tagged me and thanks ladies, would have shamelessly picked it up and done it anyways :)


IHM started it -  “Please list at least ten things you have ever wanted or done which your gender is not supposed to.”


1. I don't wear my Mangal Sutr regularly. 
2. Love Blue. Hate pink, jewelry, make up, lace, frills and flapping eyelids. I don't have more than 3 pairs of footwear at any given point of time. 
3. Bunked classes, jumped over the college gate. Picked up fights with men who occupied the 'ladies seat' in bus and many other such things. Punched a boy at school for bullying my little bro. Whistled with reckless abandon at the Cinemas.
4. Actively involved in sports, NCC and dabbled in Karate... anything outdoor without a care about my 'complexion' despite warnings that I'll become dark-er and ugly-er. *BLAH*
5. Sport really-short-curly-messy-mop just for a lark
6. Had a brief fleeting affair with Alcohol though I'm off it for a long time now
7. Lived alone, traveled alone. I once boarded a bus from Madurai to Chennai at midnight and I was the only female passenger. I was 24 then. 
8. Used Men's perfumes - I just liked them, so?
9. Hate mush and the M&Bs. I read one and avoided them like plague ever since
10. I wonder why some guests' eyes pop out while I'm chatting with them and hubby is making tea for all of us. Probably they don't know that he makes better tea (though I think my FIL and my dad are BEST at it) and that I graciously accept and appreciate it ;)


To offset these, I like to bathe atleast once a day and weed out the facial hair. Crave for gossip once in a while. Love to cook, host, do up home. I indulge in clothes and bags (all Jute and other fabric). Like a clean kitchen and bathroom.  


And I pass on the tag to .... hmm... looks like the whole world has already done it... Hema, Jayashree, Chotu's mom,  Moushumi, 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Entry for 'Mommy Guilt' Contest

At last, just at the nick of time... here's my entry for the Mommy Guilt contest. Those who haven't already submitted your entry, read this on Apu's blog and this on Womensweb. There's time till Monday ladies - do rush your entries... am sure you all have lots to say on this topic...and there are some exciting prizes!!!
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I have been unwell for a while now and I thought of chatting up with a doctor who also happens to be a relative. Among other things that we discussed, she made an interesting observation about stress. Stress is not just the work load or work pressure but the pressure that you experience as a result of boredom - because you are probably not doing things that you really enjoy doing and in the context of motherhood, she called it the, "Indian Mommy Syndrome". We feel guilty about 'enjoying' when it does not include our children. Try leaving your child behind to meet up with friends, for some indulgence at the parlour, a movie, a concert, a holiday and the likes. The monster called 'Guilt' will be unleashed on you.
Now, where does this monster dwell? Mostly within us, sometimes around us. Let me explain - why do we feel guilty? 1. How does it make me feel? 2. What will others think of me?

1. How does it make me feel?:
You decided to keep out of the kitchen one day and fed your child milk, cheese, noodles, bread and the likes. Now, no one knows this but it still leaves you guilty. Why? Because you think you could have done much better for your child.
2. What will others think of me?: You left your child with hubby and in laws to watch a movie with friends. How many calls have you made to check on your child? How many times have you worried about what your in laws would think about you? Did one of your mommy friends tell you how she has never even thought of doing anything like this till her child was big enough? Yeah, woman, too bad. You should have dialed me for some counsel! Bah! Are you thinking that I don't care for some medals and honors? Oh, no, I do, I'm a sucker for those. But I decide, 'at what cost' these days.

I realise that it is extremely important for us to be happy and feel worthy of ourselves to be able to nurture a healthy self esteem, to exude that positive energy around us. Without this, what we would eventually do is spend a lot of time, empty time, with our children and only end up feeling miserable about all those things that we could have otherwise achieved. There are mothers who enjoy giving up their career for the child and there are mothers who enjoy finding the balance - this is not a situation with 'only one right answer'.
If we assume that children don't understand, we are grossly underestimating them. They would rather have a happy mom for a few hours than a grouchy, miserable mom the whole day. So, momma, do things that'll keep you happy - its important for your baby ;) ....we all come around to it, don't we :D

I also see that women who have interests besides their children, who have their own friends, either a career or a hobby are a lot more emotionally independent as empty-nesters. They don't feel the void suddenly. There are other things that they enjoy, that keep them occupied and positively engaged. This is good not only for themselves but also for the children who are less burdened to see their parents happy.

 

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Story Blanket

Story: Ferida Wolff,  Harriet May Savitz
Illustrations: Elena Odriozola
Image Courtesy: Flipkart
Pattu Rating: 4.5

Babba Zarra has a heart that is huge enough to love everyone in her village. No wonder the children of the village visit her every evening for a story. Babba Zarra has a special blanket that she spreads out for her little visitors, to keep them warm and cozy. One day she notices a hole in Nikolai's shoes and decides to make him a socks. But getting someone to dleiver wool to their snow covered village seems to be next to impossible. Babba Zarra always believed that every question has an answer. As she mulls over the problem, an idea dawns on her. She just has to unravel a bit of wool from her story blanket! The story thus unfolds with Nikolai finding a pair of socks at his doorstep, the postman receiving a scarf, the school teacher getting a pair of mittens and the children suddenly find that the story blanket has shrunk. They cuddle up closer each day. By the time everyone in the village get their surprises, the story blanket has disappeared altogether. How the villagers find the source of their little presents and how they repay Babba Zarra for her kindness makes the rest of the story. I couldn't help feeling that Babba Zarra's kindness is what kept the villagers warm more than all the wollens that she knit for them.
What I liked about the story was that it didn't fuss too much over Babba Zarra's kindness, else it might have probably been a bit too cloying. The illustrations are beautiful in soft pastels and simple lines.

Pattu struggled a little to understand 'snow' and how people in the village felt 'cold' etc. I don't blame her - we live in Chennai :)
She slept over it the first day and took one more day for it to sink in. Then the questions started, 'what is snow like?' 'like ice?' 'hands will freeze?' 'what will happen if there's a hole in the shoe?' 'Did Nikolai cry?' 'you need thick blankie?' 'Babbu Zarra is a good lady' 'She helped everyone?' and so on. Unlike lot of other books that left her excited, animated, made her jump and scream and all that, this one left her deep in thoughts - positively, I gather.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rhyme away

Here's my bit for the Tulika Blogathon - Not sure if I'm on time...but nevertheless..

The story is  - The housefly (called Eee in Tamil) is suffering memory loss a la Ghajini ;). So she goes around asking everything and everyone... the pun here is that the fly's name is the simplest to remember (Eee) but she forgets that and remembers every other name in the world... she starts with the calf... and ends with the horse...but does she finally remember the name?

PS: I've corrected the first line after MIL pointed out a mistake.

Kozhu kozhu kanne chubby chubby calf
kannin thaaye  the calf's mother
kannu meikkira ayaan  the cowherd who grazes the cattle
ayaan kai kole The stick in the cowherd's hand
kola valartha kodimarame  the tree that gave the stick
kodimarathil irukkum kokke the crane that is perched on the tree
Kokku nikkum kulame the in which the crane stands
kulathil irukkum meene the fish in the pond
meen pidikkum valaya the fisherman who is catching the fish
valayan kai chatti the pot in the hand of the fisherman
chatti munayum kosava the potter who made the pot
kosavan kai manne the clay in the hands of the potter
mannail irukkum pulle the grass that grows on the clay (means the ground here)
pullai thingum kudiraai the horse who eats the grass
en peru enna? what is my name?
  And the horse neighs
Hhhee ..Eeeeeee

And that's how the fly remembers its name!! I like the way one thing leads to the other so logically. B Athai Paati used to say this to Pattu when she was 9 months old and when she was barely 10 months she used to finish every line and by 12 months she said the whole thing all by herself! And she used to wait with bated breath for us to say 'eeeee' :D

This one was alos Pattu's favourite and she used to do it with actions.

Aanai Aanai Elephant Elephant
Azhagar Aanai Azhagar's (Lord Krishna) Elephant
Arasanum Arasiyum yerum Aanai Elephant on whom the king and the Queen ride
Kovilai kandaal kumbidum Aanai Elephant that prays/ bows when he sees a temple
kattikkarumbai murikkum Aanai Elephant that twists the sugarcane
kaaveri aatrai kalakkum aanai Elephant that churns the kaaveri river
kutti aanaikku kombu molachudaam little Elephant has grown a tusk
pattanamella paakkavarum People of the city, please come and see...

Many a morsel have been successfully fed, thanks to these :)

Another favourite of mine is Biscuit Biscuit, Nila Nila and Kaiveesamma , and the kuruvi kadai go over to Hema's for a more detailed account.

To add to Hema's rich list is, 'kola kolaya mundirikka naraya naraya suthi vaa' - this is the desi version of 'I sent a letter to my father ...postman came and picked it up and put it in my pocket' game.
And one more ...

Oru kodam thanni oothi oru poo poothadu (We watered the plant with one pot of water and the plant gave one flower) and it goes on and on like that. it is a game and it ends when all the players have been counted...

Last one... eh promise pa.. this is a malayalam rhyme

Kaake kaake koodevide Crow crow where's your nest?
Kootinakathoru kunjunde There's a little one in the nest
Kunjinu theetta kodukkaanjal If you don't give food to the little one
Kunju kidannu karanjyeedum The little one will cry
Kaake kaake nee tharumo Crow crow, will you give?
Ninnude kayyile neiyappamThe neiyappam (It is a sweet made of rice flour and jaggery) in your hand?
Illa tharilla neiyappam No I will not give Neiyappam
Ayyo Kaake Pattiche Oh crow you fooled me!

 Edited to add two more.
Each of the Tamil alphabets are represented in every line of this rhyme

amma inge vaa vaa   
aasai mutham thaa thaa 
ilaiyil choru potu 
eeyai thoora otu   
unnai pondra nallaar  
ooril yaavar ullaar   
ennaal unakku thollai 
ethum inge illai
aiyam indri solluven  

ottrumaye balamaam
oodum seyale nalamaam
avvai sonna mozhiyaam
ahde enakku vazhiyaam


This one is about the sweet mangoes..

Maambazhamaam Maambazham
Malgova Maambazham
Selathu Maambazham
Thithikkum Maambazham
Azhagana Maambazham

Alva pondra Maambazham
Ungalukkum vendumaa?
Ingu oodi vaarungal
Pangu pottu thinnalaam


This is about Dosai - the making of it and the eating of it and some math adding up to 10.

Dosai amma dosai 
amma vaartha dosai
arisi maavum ulundu maavum arachu vaartha dosai
appavukku naalu
ammavukku moonu
annanukku rendu
thangaikku onnu
aaga motham pathu
thinna thinna aasai
innum kettaaa poosai

This one is more like Rock-a-by baby

Saanjaadamma saanjaadu
Thanga kodame saanjaadu
velli vilakke saanjaadu

Mayile mayile
saanjaadu
vannakkiliye saanjaadu

Kattikarumbe
saanjaadu
Inikkum thene saanjaadu

.... and this goes on, I used to add my own verses like


Pattu kutty saanjaadu
Chutti kutty saanjaadu
chamathu kutty saanjaadu
vaalu kutty saanjaadu

etc etc...

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

"I'm sooo proud of you"

Said the Pattu to her Amma with a big bear hug. Just in case you all are wondering why the Amma's feet are not touching the ground today :D

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Bubbles and a colourful 100!

This is my 100th post - Yay!

Shruti guessed it! Our bubble wrap block print for the Artsy Craftsy June is here:

Cut out bubble wrap in desired shapes and print. Make sure the air in the bubble is intact for better effect. Make sure that you don't take to much paint - it'll get smudged.
The Rooster & Peacock: (Inspired by Tulika's Rooster and the Sun) The rooster and peacock are friends and they were playing. The rooster saw the sun and smiled and the peacock saw the clouds and started to dance.


The Dirty Peahen: This peahen didn't listen to amma and fell into a ditch and got dirty. Now no one is playing with him.

Flowers for Ummachi: This one is my favourite because it was conceived and designed and executed entirely by Pattu. Story by Pattu as well: There are no flowers for ummachi in the sky (which is why we keep flowers for ummachi here...you see?) so Pattu has planted some flowers in the sky. Potato carved for flower and pegs and blocks for clouds.

Hand Print- Pattu who loved colour: Inspired by Tulika's, 'The boy who loved colour', Pattu painted her hands (in fact the whole of her arms and legs..)


Okra Art: The Caterpillar who loved flowers. This one is also pattu's work - almost 90%. There's a caterpillar who liked to eat flowers and not leaves and when he became a butterfly he wore flower printed wings.


These two are newspaper strip art that we had done earlier... not for the Artsy Craftsy...We painted whole sheets of newspaper in different colours and cut them into strips and smaller bits. Then drew an outline and stuck the strips within the shape...

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Guess Guess...

Pattu got lots and lots of gifts from her friends and cousins in Australia. We opened the packs one after the other, surprise followed by more such surprises, excitement mounting as we unwrapped and discovered books, more books, some more books, clothes, more clothes, pictures from cousins, yummy pasta, yummy sauce, yummy cheese, a bag, chocolates, a scooter...whoa!

And guess what Pattu likes best? Guess... guessssss.... let's see who gets it right... :D

Friday, June 04, 2010

Safe...Are we?

Another borewell accident! Just how many lives do we have to sacrifice before enforcing some stringent safety norms?!
I realise that we take so many things for granted and what is shocking is that safety seems to be one of those things! We just get so 'used to' things - recently someone from US was appalled at the way infants and toddlers were carried on the two wheelers, forget not having car seats and seat belts. I see them all around and each time I send a prayer for the children - that's all that I can do. For those who don't understand this, see this picture and this and this.

1. The lady is mostly wearing saree so she can only sit with both legs on one side - bad for balance since weight is not evenly distributed
2. She (most of them) holds the man's shoulder/ waist with one hand - *throwing up my hands*  just what sense does it make to hold the man for support! There's a handle on every bike!
3.She holds an infant with the other hand with no form of protection whatsoever and it almost always looks like the infant/ toddler is slipping off what with the slippery saree and all that! Of course we use towels to protect against the sun so that the child doesn't become dark - now, that is important! See our priorities?
4. And they drive in thick traffic.

I've heard arguments such as, 'Oh they can't afford the ricks and cabs and public transport is terrible, so they are left with no option'. I considered it but don't quite agree. Most of these kids I see are clad in thick gold/ silver jewelry. Now, if you can afford that, and if you can afford a two wheeler, you can definitely afford a bit of safety for your child. The point is, most often we don't even reach this stage of the argument - we simply believe that it is quite safe to travel like that with a child!

When will we have better safety standards? Where are the rules where they are really required?

Monday, May 31, 2010

Of Books and Borrowers

First line from the book that I'm reading: ( yeah, reading only now....and no prizes for guessing the title....)

In the beginning there was a river, The river became a road and branched out to the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry.


Recently, someone I know was ranting about his colleague who borrowed a book long ago and hasn't yet returned it. While this person was chasing him and hunting him down to have his possesion back, I know many others who would just wait silently or at best just drop weak hints clumsily and hope for the best. Me being one of them. Somehow, these episodes always reminded me of this anecdote by Stephen Butler Leacock

I find that some people just don't seem to take borrowing books seriously. Maybe it is in the genes; it is one more thing along with the sugar and coffee powder that we borrow and never return. While most books are expensive and it pinches when you lose them, there's more to it than just the money. Books are personal and most often they stand for more than just their contents. Some books mark a turning point, an emotion, experience, a person, a sentiment, an occasion.... many things... and I can't bear to lose them or see them treated shabbily. I even know some who don't part with their books - it is like a part of their soul. I can understand that - there are some books I would never lend. Having said that, I don't worry about giving my books to some very close friends because I know that they value it just as much as I do.

Innocent lenders beware! The 'Borrowers' spectrum looks something like this. Those who borrow and

1.Return in decent time and in good condition
2.Return the book in bad condition with a look of apology
3.Return the book, its deteriorated condition not bothering their conscience
4.Return after some polite reminders
5.Return after some polite reminders and annoyed follow ups
6.Lose the book but offer to replace
7.Lose the book and believe an apology will suffice
8.Lose the book and laugh about it like it is a joke
9.Have no intentions of returning
10.Deny that they ever borrowed a book from you
11.Borrow and disappear

Which ones have you met?

I've renewed and upgraded my membership with Book and Borrow. This arrangement suits me so well since the good libraries are quite far from where I live. I must say their service is more than satisfactory!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flashback... 17 th October 2008

I was down with backache. Pattu got all cuddly and wanted me to carry her and was quite upset when I denied saying that I had backache. In a moment the expression changed to that of determination and resolve.

She went behind and said to my back, 'Ammava valippiyaa...chollu...inime anmmava valippiyaa?' (Will you pain amma ever again! tell, will you pain her again!)
And a few mighty blows landed on the already aching back!

The amma thunk thus - 'inime valikkaradunnu solluviya!' (Will I ever discuss my aches with her!)

Back to 29th May 2010

Pattu - Amma my leg is paining ..
Amma - come I'll give it one pinch...come here
Pattu - laughing...ammmmaaaaa....massage my leg amma...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Books or eBooks?

Browsing through the internet recently, I came across two pieces of information - both alarming and enlightening. This article says that, "children are more likely these days to own a cell phone than they are a book" and another study also goes to prove that "the difference between being raised in a bookless home compared to being raised in a home with a 500-book library has as great an effect on the level of education a child will attain as having parents who are barely literate"

This has triggered some arguments for and against technology with the naysayers likening it to the pandora's box and the soothsayers pointing out that it in fact opens up a plethora of information and is just redefining 'reading' and not killing it altogether.

Having grown up with print, I love having a book in hand, the way it feels, the way it smells, etc. However, I wouldn't deny that there have been times in the recent past when I've thought it would be really nice to own a Kindle and more recently the iPad. I'm feeling this way, and mind you, I'm still very conservative when it comes to technology, so, isn't it quite natural for the current generation to gravitate towards the digital format? With all the talk about preserving the forests, shouldn't we be taking the digital route? What about reading Dr Seuss, Eric Carle, Karadi, Tulika etc in the digital format? If youngsters are hooked to their mobiles, how about serving them a book on their mobile? I think there's an opportunity everywhere and that the path of least resistance will work.

What's your argument?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Midnight Masala at Pattu Household

If you don't know by now..yes, Pattu is a night bird and sleeps past midnight everyday! We sing, dance, read, play and wrap up by 10.30 and somehow manage to switch off lights by 11 - 11.30 PM. But Pattu is wide awake and still in full form. For the next one hour, our routine is something like this..

10 mins after switching off lights:
Pattu - Amma, I want water
Amma's arm automatically reaches for water, empties it into pattu's mouth and puts it back on the side table.

Pattu tells stories or has imaginary conversations

10 mins later
Pattu sits up and looks out the window and talks to the streetlight and they laugh at a private joke. I feel very jealous and insecure when she casually says, 'nothing amma' when I ask her what it is...

Pattu pokes the dad

10 mins later
Pattu: Amma...moocha (susu)
Amma's mechanically goes through routine only waking up when Pattu chooses to waddle in water for a longer time warranting change of clothes

back to conversations with the streetlight

10 mins later
Pattu - Amma...I'm hungry amma
Amma - sleep
Pattu - crying...I'm hungryyyyyyy
Amma - loses it have biscuit (yes, it is on the side table always)
Pattu - Noooo...let's go down and have pappu mammam (dal rice)!! - that's a ruse to go down and delay the sleep by few more mins...
Amma - loses it completely!  Pappu mammam has gone to sleep, only biscuits and milk are awake at night


We grudgingly settle for biscuit and repeat water, streetlight and susu episodes once before sleep embraces Pattu.

Last night Pattu was pouring her heart out to me in pure Hindi - Pattu brand of Hindi of course. I didn't get a word of it since it didn't even have the usual smattering of English words! She was very upset that I didn't understand - anger and later tears followed! For some reason, even when being upset with me, amidst tears, Pattu spoke only pure Hindi! *SIGH*

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Only a mom...

..can be proud of this.  Pattu drew these all by herself and enlightened us on what they were...

1. A Tree


2. Cars - Lots of cars on a road

Friday, May 21, 2010

Clown

Clown, Quentin Blake. Pattu Rating: 4.7

I've been wanting to review this for a while now. Finally got around to doing it now.

For me, it was love at first sight. For Pattu, the scribbly lines ceased to impress initially but it grew on her and when the story unfolded it had her completely hooked. I've become a huge fan of QB's illustrations after just a few books (including the Roald Dahl ones) and am hunting for the rest.

The clown along with some of his friends (all of them toys) are abandoned and have nowhere to go. The clown is not willing to give up and goes looking for a home for himself and his friends. A series of adventures where he meets different kinds of people in different situations. Adults who don't think much of him, who don't find him worthy enough, a child who wants him but whose mom doesn't let her keep him, a burly guy who is rude and so on. Finally he lands up in a house where he instantly turns around a situation by being resourceful and winning the smile of an infant. At last how he goes on from there to rescue his friends from the garbage bin and how all of them eventually find a home makes the rest of the story.

The illustrations are so expressive and make the story powerful and compelling. Words would have probably diluted the effect of the illustrative style. I loved this also because it allows the reader to interpret and imagine the story from their own perspective. For instance, when the burly man throws the clown up in the sky, my version of the story, had I been telling Pattu, would have been something like, 'the clown got scared when the man threw him up in the air'. However, without this influence, Pattu's version was, 'the man threw the clown up in the air and the clown was super exited to go so high up in the air'. Also, in Pattu's version, the clown was seldom sad...he enjoyed his adventures just as much as he enjoyed finding the home at the end. Am I happy that I didn't narrate the story to Pattu - I like her version better.

So, what's your version?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Artsy Craftsy - May Entries

Here is our entry to the Artsy Craftsy Challenge for May. 

Edited to add some more... and some more details

Plate Art - This one is simple. Just pick up a Styrofoam plate and paint it.



Earring and Necklace Stand - Simple again. Thermocol board, painted.




Flower Float (It kept moving on water so couldn't get a good water shot)
This is a styrofoam bowl cut into the flower shape and painted.



A leaf wall hanging
Thermocol board cut into the shape of a leaf and painted. Mount it on a cardboard and hang it up on the wall.

This time, Pattu was so very involved in this whole thing. The room was a mess every evening and am sure my maid is expecting an extra sum for clearing up every day.

Entry 1. The Photo Frames - Mother's day gift from Pattu to both Grandmoms. Two thermocol boards, one cut out in the center to make space for the picture and stuck on top of the base board with just a slit on one side through which the picture can be slipped in. There's a slit at the top to actually insert the picture and it is operational :)
Pattu did some base colouring and me the details. One has pista and sea shells (coloured by Pattu) stuck to it.
 

Entry 2 - A Pen Stand - This was Pattu's idea. She accidentally poked a hole in that styrofoam bowl and I surprised her by calling it a 'neat idea'!

 Entry 3 -Pattu's Room (sans the mess)



Entry 4 -Arty Clips - Pattu did base colouring and me the details. Cut out shapes on a styrofoam plate and paint them. Stick it on a clip (the ones we use for clothes?). I wanted a wooden clip ideally but couldn't find one. I feel the clips are a bit too big for the shapes here...they should cover up the entire clip.

 
Entry 5 - Streamer - Stringed assortment. Pattu did all the colouring but for the details on the butterfly. She even broke one of the tail fins of the fish


 Entry 6 - A house and a park - Pattu's Caretaker's kids had come over and they did this. Such wonderful girls!




Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Of Trees and more Trees

We revisited some of Pattu's favourite books, Norbu's New Shoes being one.
 As I reached the line that mentions Lord Buddha, Pattu says, 'Buddha ummachi..who lives in a treee...'
Amma -  'Ain...where did you get that from?'
Pattu - 'Ayyo..amma..that ummachi lives in a tree na amma..'
Amma - Tree??? What Tree?
Pat comes Pattu's reply - 'Mo-Na-S-Tree Amma!! followed by an, Oh-oh look...

Pothy's has been handing out saplings to all the shoppers and thousands have already been handed over. Good initiative I think though the cynic in me wonders how many will actually plant them and care for them and how many will live on see the next summer(s)... I think it would be worth it even if 20% succeeded...

Been meaning to go for the Nizhal's (Tamil word for 'Shade') Tree Walk.... ironically, I'm waiting for the heat to go down a bit :D

Monday, May 17, 2010

How 'responsible' are our brands?

The TV, for me has become some sort of a meaningless drone in the background for a long time now. Recently though, I was irked by couple of ads caught my attention.


1. Relaxo footwear brand for kids: Shows couple of school kids (8 yrs or so) fighting a villain - an adult, in a crowded marketplace and looking smug at their victory and the admiration of passers by. This is serious fight mind you, like the ones you see in B'wood movies. What crap! It is a footwear brand for god's sake, can't the agency think of a better story? Where is the censor board when we need them?

2. Complan: A mom tells the story of her son who was short and hence had to endure some teasing from other taller kids (calling him 'chottu'). Heart broken, she vows to work on his height. Enter Complan and now her son is tall and she can walk with pride. So moms of short boys, what a shame, go hide your face! And yes, teach your kids to yield to the teasing - if you are teased about being short, go find a way to get taller or go hide! How wonderful!

We talk about Barbie, fairness cream ads and the likes being a bad influence, making girls take a certain biased view of beauty and so on. I see this ad as doing pretty much the same thing to boys. It ridicules boys who are short putting a lot of undue pressure on growing boys (and probably on the moms as well), poking a hole in their self esteem, making them under confident.

We all know that there's only so much a health food drink can do. There are the genes - the biggest determinants and a lot of other things that influence height and we all know that a good percetage of our population is below average height. So what are these ads seeding in the innocent, vulnerable minds? Don't these brands have any responsibility towards their audience and the society? Is selling (by whatever means) the only agenda?

When will we go beyond physical limtations and start focusing on more important things like being socially responsible, sensible, etc.? When will we start appreciating people for what they have made of themselves than what mere chance has endowed them with? Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying we shouldn't celebrate beauty, but not at the expense of making the rest of the kids feel inferior.

What's your take?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

4 Yr Old 'Pride'

At the Park...

A bunch of 4 to 6 yr olds playing. Pattu and two others busy doing acrobatics on the monkey bar. Pattu tries one of the new tricks but needs my help to reach up.

Pattu: Amma, Please help me amma...

S (Remember S of the Gang War fame?) : Eh, why are you calling amma for that, you are big...come I'll show you how...

The Amma wonders if it is time to retire....

PS: Yes, Pattu and S are friends... no trace of any memory of Gang War episode :)

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Food glorious food!

Organic:
We got our first package of organic groceries from Organic Plus - we tried some dals and rice, sugar (brown), palm sugar, Gingley oil and we liked it.

I also found the organic veggie place in sholinganallur on OMR (near Infy) that Art had mentioned - planning to try them out.
We picked up more organic fruit preserves - Plum and guava, from Fab India and we highly recommend them. I've also picked up a dark brown coloured whole wheat pasta hoping to feel less guilty when indulging. The lady at the store tells me that it needs some pressure cooking and it more than doubles in quantity when fully boiled.

Jus Yummy:
We tried the olive and walnut french loaf from La Boulangerie - the Olive loaf is out of the world (just a bit too salty though). I believe they are setting up shop in Velachery soon - am definitely looking forward to it.
Krishna Sweets made Velachery buzz - am not at all a big fan of Krishna Sweets, so am not too thrilled.
We went to the new Sanjeevanam at Adyar to celebrate Mother's day, with both mom and MIL - slightly bigger than the earlier place. It was in an apartment complex - was a bit of a disappointment for me... I think a nice traditional looking house would have been so much more charming! The Rajakeeyam tasted just as good though :)