Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thirsty Crow - 2010 (Pattu's Version?)

I got to know this from her school. Her version of the story goes like this....

The crow is thirsty and goes looking for water and finds some water in the pot but at the bottom...'oh oh, now what' thinks the crow...
Old story till now... and then...
The crow flies around looking for a straw and finds one and has a hearty drink and flies away happy happy....
I asked Pattu if she said that and she agreed. Who taught her to say that? - No answer.
Why did she bring the straw into the story? What about the stones?
Pattu: You should not put stones in water amma, water will become dirty...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Kovalam ...

...that's where we spent the last 3 days and had a whale of a time! A true holiday after a looong time and I just realised how much we needed it!
Pattu rolled in the beach sand and spent hours in waters - either in the beach or in the pool (and finished it with jacuzzi back in the room). She has an enviable tan too :D

We had a beach facing (well it was almost on the beach) suite and the best part of it was waking up to the song of the fishermen. Apparently they cast their net at night and start gathering the net to the shore as early as 6 AM. It is no mean job - some 20 fishermen pulling the rope with a song on their lips (to distract them from the pain when the rope cuts into their palms I guess). We kept watching from our balcony, mesmerised. After some 2 hours of singing and continuous pulling, they take a break and come back to it. When we finished our breakfast and got to the beach (around 10 AM), they were still gathering the net and the song took on a higher pitch and the excitement mounted as the slippery silver fish glittered in the morning sun. It was edge of the seat stuff and all of us (lots of tourists had gathered by then) were hoping for them to have a good catch. It was a bad day though and our hearts sank... so much that a tourist who witnessed this effort felt so bad for them that he handed out Rs 1000/- to them! It is a hard life...

Btw, Pattu who has been off diapers for a long time now had to be put on diapers during certain legs of the holiday. She must have been quite confused, coz she refused to pee in her diaper and later at the airport she secretly asked me, 'Amma, am I wearing diaper?' and when I answered in the affirmative, she said, 'then I can go moocha in this?' throwing a man sitting next to us into a fit of laughter :D

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Theater Workshop by Evam

... is starting this weekend at Let's Do Something. It is for older teens and adults - 16 yrs and above. I'm going to miss this since I am off to Trivandrum tonight :(

Those who've been waiting for something like this and do manage to catch up, please tell me what I missed...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bedtime Blues

The night and the moon seem to have this strange effect on Pattu. She comes up with such crazy demands.
Few days back she was talking to the Moon through the bedroom window and insisted that she has to go to the Moon.
Amma: Ok, we'll take a plane and go tomorrow, come sleep now.
Pattu: No amma...I want to go now... I want feathers to fly up to the moon
Amma: Only birds have feathers, we just have hands
Pattu: You ask the owl to give me some feathers amma... then I can fly
...and some trials happened with amma's dupatta and bedsheets before hitting the bed...sulking

Last night after some close examination of her fingers, Pattu decided that there is enough space for a new finger between her thumb and index finger...
Pattu: Amma, I want a finger here
Amma: Why Pattu, you have 5 already
Pattu: But there is lot of space for another one amma... then I can count till six amma and then 'Six' will be very happy amma..
...whatever that means....

The first time I introduced the new sloka, Achudam Kesavam Ramanarayanam..' , Pattu says,

'Amma, Achudam is Achu (the little boy next door) and Kesavam is Keshav (another little boy in the neighborhood), who is Ramanarayanam?' 

.... We'll find out...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Indian. Chinese. Tandoor

...seems to be the winning combination. Every third restaurant that has opened in the last 5 years claim to serve 'Indian, Chinese, Tandoor'. Wonder why Tandoor is different from Indian.
I guess this kind of covers pretty much everything that the Indian taste buds would relish especially the Gopi Majoorian and Panneer Fried Rice and the Tom Yum soup suspiciously looking like the rasam from the 'Indian' kitchen. Tandoor would have Gopi Parotta and Dhal Makkanni with Chettinad spicing! I've always been wary of this combination - I avoid it if I have a choice else just stick to the 'Indian' part of the menu.
This somehow reminds me of Bollywood (and the other local 'Ollywoods we have) - Song & Dance. Sentiment. Stunt. = Winning Combination. Indian. Chinese. Tandoor. = Winning Combination. Maybe its just us, Indians!

Speaking of which, I recently saw a board in our own Velachery (I think it is The Rock...not sure though) that said, 'Indian. Chinese. Tandoor. Thai' - something in me switched on the red alert. Guys, Watch out!

Btw, has anyone tried 'Ugadi' the Andhra joint that has recently opened at Velachery?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rants of the Middle Class Madras Maami

It is an age old tradition of (some) Chennai Maamis (and some Mamas as well) to go around the neighborhood and sneakily and shamelessly gather flowers from others' gardens for their Gods. Chandran's parents (of R K Narayan's Bachelor of Arts fame) were once victims to this and to this day these Maamis continue to harass innocent, friendly neighbors. Here are some 'Flower Thief Maamis' archetypes:

1. Smooth Saroja: She walks in for a friendly chat, 'Ungathula enna samayal...' and drifts into, '...Enge Brahmanan la Cho sonnar paathela...' and all the while she walks around and gathers flowers that she neatly tucks into her saree pallu... once this is done, she leaves with, '... neenga busy-ya irukkael, naan apparam varen..' and sometimes manages to borrow some coffee powder or sugar along the way.

2. Mystery Meenakshi: She wakes up before the world and does a round of the neighborhood gathering all the flowers she wants. No one has ever spotted her till date. No matter how early you set your alarm, she always beats you! We don't know how!

3. Sneaky Sundari: She has chalked out her plan across different neighborhoods for each day of the week. She typically sneaks behind the compound wall and quietly picks all the flowers that happen to hang outside the wall while the household is busy with the morning routine. If someone happens to pass by, she quickly bends down to examine the grass and weeds on the pavement with a zest unknown even to a Botanist. She doesn't meet your eye.

There are many more I am sure.

One such Sneaky Sundari was caught red handed recently when my MIL happened to be watering the plants. It was embarrassing since it was a neighbor - she must have felt guilty since she said (and had the temerity to say), 'I'm only taking what is outside the compound wall'. My MIL being the nice lady that she is said, 'It all goes to God, please take, its ok..' but I was totally annoyed! My MIL toils in the garden every day for 2 hours - anyone who has spent even 30 mins digging in the garden would understand how physically demanding it is. At 65+ she still works hard in the garden (touch wood) and she is so passionate about it. I just can't bear to see the fruits ..err flowers of her labour being stolen this way. I am seriously considering Chandran's idea of building a moat around the house and putting few crocodiles in it!

Btw, last night I saw Sneaky Sundari's car parked outside the compound wall,  and I was so tempted!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Weekend @ Dosa Fest

Last weekend we lazed at home. Didn't get tickets for the ET Wow but that didn't dampen our spirits. We packed the family and went to the beach. Pattu has become quite friendly with the waves these days, she spent quite a while there. While Sk and MIL were giving Pattu company, I sneaked away to have raw mango. FIL joined and we shared the steal. Then we attacked the son papdi vendor and a few others. Pattu wasn't interested in the eats, she went for the rides and picked up a cheap looking plastic mobile phone among other things. And off we went to the dosa fest at Sanjeevanam.

I am a big fan of Kadalivanam (the restaurant at Sanjeevanam) - especially their Raja Keeyam. It is one of the best things on offer for the veggie lover in Chennai. However, the dosa fest was a bit of a let down. The stuffed dosas - one had to look for the 'stuff' with magnifying glasses. Ootappams with topping - same story...take out the magnifying glasses to spot the veggies, small onions.... Hardly worth the Rs.70 per dosa!

My MIL had an idea which I thought was a good one - a platter of mini dosas with different stuffing and toppings so you get a good variety. They should consider it I think.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Footwear Fetish

Pattu has never looked at footwear as anything beyond the functional purpose it is meant to serve. All my efforts to make her wear those cute shoes that go so well with her clothes would only be met with, '..but I like this hawai chappal only amma...' assertion. Till 10th Jan 2010.
Athai had sent some glittering silver sandals through Paati on 10th Jan, which so fascinated her that she wore it to bed despite it being one size small and uncomfortable. Maybe the Foot Fairy cast a spell, she's been asking for every pretty shoe that passes by. The mom who used to take her to the footwear section to entice her is now terrified of taking her anywhere near it. Well, I wished and the Foot Fairy heard I guess...

While at this topic - I was appalled to find footwear for 3 to 6 yr old children with such high heels and some pointed heels too! Even more appalling was the fact that some parents were actually buying them. I wonder if this is the case only in India where there are practically no prescribed laws when it comes to kids' products.