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June 27, 2017

27.06.2017

Dearest Antu,

It is that day of the year you look forward to eagerly. You start planning your birthday as soon as your sister's birthday is done in April. You loudly announce that its your birthday month on 1st June. You begin to wish for presents and finally narrow it down to three from which you know you will get one. And as usual, you ask if I have bought the present the previous day just to make sure! And nag your dad to take that day off even though you have full day school! We don't call you high maintenance for nothing and you prove it every day of every year. We do love that about you and life would be so boring otherwise.You are so excited about our special days too and you could be a poster child for Hallmark! Birthdays, anniversaries, valentines day, mothers day, christmas, navarathri,... Name it and you are there 100% into it. Your enthusiasm is infectious and we all bend backwards to please you. And looks like, we always will.

This year has been totally glamorous, travel wise. San jose trip, Alaska cruise, Corsica, Ski trip to Solden, Bombay wedding, Milan and Gardaland, .. you do live the high life! You have had a terrific time everywhere. And your ballet school has an amazing show once in two years and this year you performed in six shows over two weekends in June. It was a 2 1/2 hours show with around 200 kids and you were in three group dances with costume change and everything. You had rehearsals every saturday and sunday for the last two months. And on wednesdays and fridays for a couple of weeks. You missed loads of play dates, birthday parties, .. You were tired and you complained. But you did nt give up. You worked hard, you enjoyed the rehearsals, you loved dancing in the show and were so proud of your accomplishment. We all were. These are the times I realize theres life beyond school and the commitment and responsibility, hard work and accomplishment is a lesson well learnt. Kudos to you, my little Ballerina! 

You have this amazing world inside your little head and you live in that little world of yours. Everything has to be fair, everyone has to be nice, every little thing has to be perfect and its always fun, fun and more fun there. You are always humming or singing or dancing or doing cartwheels and sometimes I am afraid to call your name and pull you away from that perfect world. You imagine a new world in every mundane thing. Rescuing the good potato person from the evil rasam rice, saving the soap bubble from the bad shower head, building a house made of grass for the ants, the tiny baby spider trying to find its mom,... Theres an interesting story behind every bug you see, every toy you have, every twig you find and every place you visit. Oh to be as young and as carefree as you! Though I am the stupid adult now, its so heartwarming to be part of your wonderful world once in a while and I will always cherish it. Keep dreaming, little girl!

Your friends mean the world to you. Your dad is your hero and your sister the boss. I am your universe and you will do anything for us. You are a proper Swiss who likes only freshly made bread, gourmet cheese and dark chocolate. You are a recent owner of a brand new swiss army knife (you assembled it on your own with your name engraved on it) which you always take with you on your hikes. You play outside snow or sun and speak Swiss German with an adorable accent. You are so funny and so practical. The other day I was brushing your hair and you were screaming bloody murder as usual. I asked you why you scream like that and you answered that it hurts. "Is it going to hurt any less if you scream, Antu?", I asked. "No, Amma. But you might stop doing it!", you replied. Jaw, drop and all that. But it is so you. Love you to bits, Pattu. Happy 9th birthday!

 Love,
அம்மா.

June 02, 2017

Baahubali.

I don’t think I will have any kind of closure until I put my thoughts into words and sent them away into the Internet Universe. I fell for Baahubali 2 hook, line and sinker and don’t know what to do with all the built up obsession and craziness that suddenly has engulfed my life. Flashback to July 2015, the kids and I were in India when Baahubali 1 was released and the husband watched it in Zurich with his friend and told me I have to watch it. I was a bit skeptical but went anyway to watch it with my mom leaving the kids home with my dad. Mom and I loved the movie and that was it. I might have watched the video of Manohari song one too many times after that but that was for the choreography. I did nt know who Prabhas was at that point of time. (ahem!) Did nt know the older Bhalla was Rana until the younger Bhalla showed up and I had goosebumps at Ramya Krishnan, Sathyaraj and Nassars acting and the whole story and music was fascinating. And then early this year, the whole Baahubali 2 release fever began and I was eagerly looking forward to the movie. The trailer was fantastic and I could nt wait! I listened to the songs a few weeks before the release and they were ok. And then the big day came. Hd and I decided to watch the part 1 the previous day and my kids who have almost never watched any Tamil or Hindi movie were invited to watch with us. 

Side note:
Ashu and Antu have never watched an Indian movie in the theatre or at home. Hd has always wanted them to watch Tamil movies so that they can speak the language better, know the celebrities (Rajini!) and enjoy Indian cinema. But for me, no movie seemed appropriate to show the kids. So I was always reluctant.  Then a few years back, Hd tried to show them Anjali movie but Antu walked away after a while and Ashu watched the whole thing and did nt say a word. Many people think that if there are kids in a movie, then kids can watch it. Sadly, Hd is one of them! Then last year, I chose Kaaka Muttai and we 4 watched it together. My kids have no cinema sensibility (gee! i wonder why!) and kept asking stupid questions and I swore I ll never watch any more movies with them. Then early this year, we watched English Vinglish together and it was fun. Even though Ashu thought I chose the movie to teach her a lesson about respecting mothers! So yes, thats a grand total of 2 1/2 Indian movies my kids have watched.
End side note.


I was afraid Baahubali 1 would be too much for an almost 9 year old Antu. She enjoyed the movie but went to sleep during the climax war scene. And had dozens of questions and doubts the next day. I think Ashu enjoyed the whole movie because I did nt hear or see any groans or eye rolls! And thats high praise from her! But like a true Bhagyaraj fan, I sent them to brush their teeth and change into pajamas when the Pachai Thee song came! Well, sue me! (What were you thinking, Mr. Rajamouli?) On 30th April, Hd and I left the kids home and went for an afternoon show of Baahubali 2. I knew I was going to love it but did nt think how much! I had this stupid grin in my face the entire time Amarendra and Devasena were in Kunthala desam! Died at the duos archery scene! Oh God, it was so beautifully choreographed! The action scenes were mind blowing and the songs were so good. But the drama, oh God, the drama. Has any woman character so strongly written before in the history of Indian movies? Sivagami and Devasena were amazing. Rajamouli totally redeemed himself for that song in the earlier movie. And Amarendra is going to be my favorite character for a long, long, long time! Is it the same Prabhas I watched in Part 1? I mean, how did I miss THIS guy in that movie? He was born to do this role, I believe. His acting, his costumes, his action, his romance, his walk, his SWAG! Sigh. I was afraid my heart was going to give away before the movie ended! I have always been a big fan of historical fiction from Sandilyan’s Kadal Pura days. Not to mention growing up with our good old Ramayanam and Mahabaratham. The unmatched bravery, the promises that have to kept at any cost, that one does nt give their word that easily but once they do, they will die trying to keep it. Theres something to be said about these things. Raja thandhiram, Por murasu, Kottai vaayil, Vyooham,… these words give me goosebumps anytime I hear them thanks to Sandilyan! (side note- did u know Sean Rolden is Sandilyas grandson?)


Hd and I came out with a "did we just watch an epic” look on our faces. I came home and Antu wanted the entire story to be told. Gave her bits and pieces of the story while I downloaded all the songs and have been listening to them non stop on a loop since that day. (not exaggerating!) Take a bow, Madan Karky! And Maragadhamani! Dude! Where were you all this while? As a die hard fan of Sangeetha Swarangal from Azhagan, I salute you! And then I read every review, watched every interview, trailer reaction, poster reaction, movie reaction,… And watched Chatrapathi, Bujjigaadu, Pournami, Darling, Mr.Perfect and Mirchi in less than a week and came to the conclusion that its not Prabhas but Amarendra and just to make sure, went to watch Baahubali 2 again the next weekend! This time with Ashu. I still felt Antu was too young and Hd and I had to fight out for who will take Ashu. My love for Amarendra won over his for Devasena. I thought Ashu should be part of this movie making history and this had to be watched in big screen. And her first ever Tamil movie in Big screen! Could anything else be more perfect? I enjoyed the movie even more this time. I don’t think I have ever watched a movie twice in the cinemas back to back! I sent a text message during the interval to Hd which was not appreciated at all! Well, I had to try!  (“Can you take up archery?”)

I watched Baahubali 1 again a few times and the scenes where Shivu is running towards Devasena to save her and then sees her in the chains! Man, what a scene! I did nt appreciate it the first time. But now knowing what we know about Devasena, it was an Oh My God moment! How did Rajamouli even conceive this scene? And him cutting Bhadras head while Devasena gives that now familiar smile? I wish I could watch both the movies together in a chronological order! It would be fantastic! Anyway, it has been a month and Im down to looking at photos and gifs from the movie and reading every bit that has been written about this movie. I don’t know what happened to me.  For the first time in my life, I feel the need for someone to delete my browser history if I die suddenly!