Weekly update #3

Last week was more about being reflective than active. Instead of spending time writing about my present, I dug the archives of this blog to seek out past posts I like. I’m doing  that as part of an email-based course I’m learning called Spark . The instructor, Kam, suggested making a list of my 10 favorite posts and examine why they stand out in order to rekindle my passion for blogging. Here are a few that I enjoyed reading:

1. Durango (part 1)

2. Durango (part 2)

3. Durango (part 3)

4. A weekend Hike

5. I hate the heat

6. Blogging despite opposition

7. What a mess!

8. Lesson # 2

9. A festival to remember and reflect.

10. Greetings!

As I read some of my old posts I was flooded with a wave of nostalgia. Reading about our travels made me yearn for a get-away. Looking at the pictures of my girl during her toddler-hood drove away the complacent thought that I have all the time in the world. I don’t. My kids are growing so fast!

Also, reading some of those posts made me realize I wasn’t such a bad writer after all and perfectly capable of coming up with good content for my blog. I’m enjoying the exercise. I hope you enjoy reading some of the above posts.

Last week, when things were going downhill for me, I also reflected on my blessings and listed all the things I’m grateful for in my life. Here goes-

I’m grateful for

1. being able to stay close to family, yet get away into my own cozy den when I pine for privacy and serenity.

2. a couple of playful, energetic kids that keep my days busy and merry and also my waistline at a minimal size.

3. Prasad, my sister and my parents who read my ramblings here and encourage me to do more of it!

4. My Samsung tablet that is light enough to carry around everywhere. I get most of my reading done on Kindle.

5. Medha’s education which has blessed me with a new purpose in life.

6. an opportunity to reside in India, my own country, where my everyday experiences are pushing and pulling my growth in new directions.

7. the amount of time I’m spending with my kids. I feel blessed to watch them blossom.

8. Evernote, an app, that lets me plan my day and organize my goals and thoughts.

9. a lush Mango and Jackfruit season.

10. a beautiful home and a densely green and secluded neighborhood.

Habitually reflecting on my blessings helps me get past the tiny discomforts that gnaw at my peace of mind.

What are you grateful for today?

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Weekly update #2

Medha’s first day of school

We were so excited for Medha on her first day of school. I couldn’t stop clicking her pictures and all of us got ready to drop her. The whole campus buzzed with excitement. The ceiling was covered in balloons; Soothing music played in the background; People dressed in costumes greeted the kids. Other parents were found to be clicking away pictures too. Medha told me she was full of “exatinement” (excitement!) as we dropped her.

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Not every kid looked as excited as Medha was about school. Many cried. Some still clung to their parents. Not my girl. She leapt off happliy from my arms into the welcoming embrace of her new school.

It’s the 3rd day today, but she went to her school as “exatined” as she was on the first.

Bombay Dyeing

Prasad and I recently bought our bedding from Bombay Dyeing. For about 8000 rupees (approx. $134) we purchased a couple of king-size bed-spreads, extra pillowcases, pillow cushions, sofa cushions and comforters. We snagged a few designer pillow covers for less than $2 each!

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We were bowled over by the pricing, stunning fabric colors and designs (contemporary and traditional Indian motifs). A one-stop shop, I found all the bedding I needed in one place. With a couple of kids it is so hard to shop around.  I am so in love with Bombay Dyeing now.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I loved Hermione more than the famous Harry Potter himself. She is such a know-it-all, and if she doesn’t know something she knows where to find it- the library. “When in doubt, go to the library.”, is what she does, according to Ronald Weasley, another character in the series. I’m such a nerd, I was thrilled when she signed up for all the subjects (Arithmancy, Astronomy, Divination etc.)  for her 3rd year at Hogwarts school for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Even though she is just a character, I long to become like her, reading widely and absorbing information like a sponge.

Harry suffers a dilemma in this book. He doubts his own identity. Is he the heir of Slytherin ( a house that has turned out more dark wizards than any other) after all, he questions himself. Despite being in Gryffindor (another house, to which even Ron and Hermione belong) , he is not sure of his goodness, his courage. The Sorting hat that sorts students into different houses did try to put him in Slytherin but , in the last minute, through Harry’s sheer will, decided to place him in Gryffindor.

In the end, Dumbledore, the principal, clears his doubts by saying, ” …. It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities. “, How profound is that! He might be capable of committing evil but he chooses to use his power for greater good, and that’s what matters in the end.

Loved this book. Onto the 3rd in the series- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Mango Season

There are mangoes everywhere. Mangoes flood our storage room and spill from boxes.  Trees laden with mangoes grow in our backyard and on our farm.

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The most relaxing part of my day is when the kids are fast asleep and I’m reading a book as I suck on a big, juicy Himayath (a mango variety that grows in our garden). When there’s a mango around, I don’t crave a sweet or ice cream. They are so sweet and fleshy that I don’t mind the annoying fiber that clogs the spaces between my teeth afterwards. I’m in love with these golden beauties ( and so are my kids) and wonder how I used to survive without their abundance in the US.

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Cafe Coffee Day

When my sister-in-law, Shruthi, was visiting from the US, we went to Cafe Coffee Day. Prasad and I shared a mug of Hazelnut Cappuccino which tasted (almost) as good as a Starbucks coffee. Shruthi’s “Devil’s Own”cold coffee was rich and frothy and tasted even better. We sat on comfy chairs as “All I want for Christmas….” played in the background. We were reminded of our evenings spent at Starbucks in the US. Even the ambiance made us feel we were in the US, even if it was for a short while.

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On a serious note, I miss having friends here. Who do I share my deepest secrets with? Who do I spill my excitement upon? Who will hear me out and lighten my burden? Apart from a few in my family, none! It’s a new place and I’m engrossed in caring for my little ones that I’m unable to pour effort and time into building new relationships. I’ll make sure I strengthen the ones I already have.

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly update #1

Start of school

Medha is ready to start school and I’m pretty excited!  We bought her text- and note- books and she kept telling me how excited she is about school and her new books. We are both eagerly awaiting the start of a new phase in her life and I am so looking forward to teaching her (after learning… I will be re-learning with her!) from that bundle of knowledge.

 

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As I spread her books on the floor to have their picture taken, Medha kept kissing them! Sooooo like me….

All the parents of future Dipsites (DPS students are called so.) were invited to attend an Orientation ceremony. And we were asked to arrange childcare for our kids. We understood why. The program ran an hour and a half and it was full of talks given by teachers about the school, its rules, their mission, safety policies etc.. I was bowled over by their “Parents as partners in progress” concept.They couldn’t stress more how much our kids imitate us and learn from us and what we can do to become good role models. Living in the US I had learnt this concept by watching how other moms interacted with their kids but to hear teachers in India emphasizing this was a real eye-opener of how far India has traveled from the days of corporal punishment and rote learning at school.

I was relieved to hear that it was OK for Medha to start nursery without prior understanding of letters and numbers. Having been to a playschool in the US, Medha at 4 isn’t capable of writing letters or counting numbers like kids in India do. There, she just played and sang and danced and talked and crafted. Playschools here in India are mini-schools where education is placed importance over free-play. Thus I was worried about her not having had a head start. Now I know she will be fine. She might lag her friends at school but eventually she will get there. By the way, my little girl will have learnt reading and writing capital and small letters, numbers and 2-letter words by the end of this academic year! Fantastic eh? And scary too!

Project 29 Update

I cleaned up my inbox, bringing the total number of emails down from over 3000 to about 300. Phew! There were too many forwards and promotional mails that I hadn’t even bothered to open and read. Also, there were a ton of mails from friends and family which I’d read but would not read again. So I simply deleted them all- one by one- Click. Delete. Click. Delete.

Now I have separate folders for mails from the online classes I joined and the creativity blogs I subscribed to. That way I can reach them whenever I need to without having to rummage through my inbox.

I finished reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s stone”. A book about a new beginning (of a life at Hogwarts school) and adventure ( saving the sorcerer’s stone from the vicious hold of Lord Voldemort). What a book to read as I begin my own new life and adventure in India! It went well with the cloudy weather we’ve been experiencing here in Hyderabad.

A lost phone

I lost my phone recently. But I’m not missing it much. In fact I’m loving the fact that I’ve become more productive since the moment it abandoned me. I’m not spending all my time checking mails, whatsapp messages and facebook updates. All that free time at hand means I’m tearing through the Harry Potter series and working to organize and decorate my new home.

Down with fever

Madhav was down with fever. The doctor at Rainbow Hospital diagnosed it as Pharyngitis, an airborne infection of the throat. A couple of days with fever was enough for the doctor to warrant a prescription of antibiotics to my year old. In the US it had been hard to squeeze a prescription out of our pediatrician. He believed our bodies, even teeny tiny ones, were equipped with defense mechanism to fight diseases (He did advocate administering vaccinations, thank god!) and antibiotics were considered a last resort. I kinda like that idea but I also like that relief is easily available here. It would’ve been hard to watch our baby fight his disease without the aid of an antibiotic.

Now everyone at home is glad Madhav is back to his usual, cheerful, bunny-teeth showing self.