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October 31, 2007

Halloween, Horror and an empty kitchen shelf.

How do kids know what to be afraid of? This evening, I answer the door to see 2 Witches, a Monster, an older girl who's escorting the kids and another 3 year old in plain clothes. (May be her mom thought she is scary enough just being herself! I can use the idea next year and save money on a costume!) Anyway, Ashu gave a wild scream and ran away and hid in the bathroom. My scream died in my throat because, horror of horrors, I had totally forgotten to stock chocolates. So I asked the kids to wait and ran to the kitchen to look for some. Found some Easter Chocolates, a gift from a friend, which was on the top shelf and I had totally forgotten to eat after stashing away to hide them from Hd! After checking the expiry date(which was 11/07, I hope the kids eat the chocolates by midnight today!), gave 2 eggs per kid and still had a big bunny shaped one which the Monster snatched from me. Then he took the mask off and smiled at Ashu who was standing in a corner and peeking. She screamed more and ran back to the bathroom. I shut the door, told Ashu all about Halloween and dressing up and told her not to be scared. Since I have nt seen more than half a dozen kids in this apartment, I thought I was good. But the door bell rang again after 10 minutes and there they were. An angel with her two handsome escorts all around 4 years looking so cute. Ashu liked the trio and asked them to wait while Mommy was back again on the step stool looking for chocolates in the top shelf. God was on my side today as I found 3 more bars of chocolates.(Probably I was stocking for my hibernation!) Another team successfully sent off. Than I called Hd and gave him an earful. Why should I do everything in this house? Why could nt you have reminded me of Halloween and stocked up some chocos? He pleaded guilty so I had to shut up. Hes wisening up, this one! Afraid of more Trick or treating, I collected the lollipops from each one of my handbag, backpack, purse etc... and had a stock of 5 lollipops. (The orange flavored sour lollipops I keep in my bags in case of motion sickness!) A ghost and a pirate came by a little later and went off with the lollipops. Half an hour later, the doorbell rang yet again and gave me jitters. Ashu who had warmed up to ghosts and monsters by now, ran to the door to see her Dad coming in. She has never been so disappointed in her life seeing her dad come back from office. She gave him the remaining three lollipops and asked him "Nee vesham pottukaliyaa?" (You did nt dress up?) Is nt he scary enough, Kid?

Speaking of dressing up, this is Ashu all dolled up for Krishna Jayanthi last month.
Last years Krishna has become Radha this time! :)


October 27, 2007

Update on Ashu at 30 months.

"Amma, this is a cow."
"Yes dear."
"Amma this is cows udder."
"Yes. Right."
"Ashus milk comes from the cows udder. Cow udder gives milk and I drink slurp slurp."
Good job Ashu. Thats right.
(Bending down to look between her legs) "Amma, Where is Ashus udder?"

By now, I have run away from the room and locked myself in the bathroom just about when she started to bend down, expecting the Question. This of course does nt stop her. She pounded on the bathroom door and asked, "Amma do you have an udder? Does Appa have an udder?" Amma is of course busy cursing the illustrator of the book who has to go and draw such protruding udder to a silly cow prompting young kids to ask what it is!


Watching me rinsing the rice and switching on the pressure cooker, "Amma does rice come from Cow?" There we go again with the Cows!


I tighten her ear rings once a day and in India I used to tell her that if I did nt, the ear rings will fall off and the lizards will take them away. So the other day she would nt let me tighten her hair band and I told her to let me do it or else the lizard will take it away. So she says, "No Amma the lizards wont take it away" and I ask Why? And she says "There are no lizards in Zurich"! She has got a logic, does nt she?


Questions like Cant you hear me, Don't you see I'm busy, Are nt you a good girl, Are you going to drink/eat it or not, etc... are answered with a stern NO!


If I say something like "Open your eyes and see Ashu, the red puzzle is just there", she will widen her eyes more with her fingers and then look and say "No Amma. I cant find it".


She had an imaginary cat for a while after we returned from India. I knew she was missing her grand parents and all the dogs and cats she befriended there but I did nt know whether to encourage it or not. Sometimes she ll say "Amma, the cat went susu here" or "Amma look the cat is running" and I did nt know whether to go along or not. When I started saying "Yes Ashu, the cat is running", she sort of gave a shocked expression. "Has Mom finally lost her marbles? I was only kidding" kind of a look. Then when my cousin had come, she gave me a perfume bottle which purrs like cat whenever you lift it. So Ashu adopted it as her pet and now has a "real" cat.


She has to know everything thats going on around the house. Whom did you talk to on the phone, what did they say, why are you shouting at dad, what did he do, Are you angry at him, Are you going to give him time out, What are you cooking, Is it Sambar, what are you cutting, Is it onion, are you going to cry while cutting it, Whats in the microwave, is it for Ashu, Are you going susu or potty, are you finished, Shall I give you some toilet paper,...

She has to switch on the light on her own when she enters a room and will promptly switch it off when she leaves. Even when I am still in the room reading a book! The kitchen has an extended dining area. I walk between the table and the counter to take and keep stuff. She ll stand near the switch board and switch OFF the dining area light when Im in the kitchen and will switch OFF the kitchen light when Im standing in the dining area. "One light Enough Amma", she ll say loudly! Hd and I have never taught her this. This she must have inherited straight from my DAD!


She recites about a dozen nursery rhymes with ease. Its a pleasure listening to her. Her current favorite is Mary had a little lamb, Itsy bitsy Spider and Jack & Jill. And to think that she learnt to sing all of them in a span of a month.


The other day I called my in laws and Ashu was speaking to my FIL and singing rhymes to him and showing off and enquiring about the dogs, cats and cows there. Then my MIL came on the phone but Ashu would nt talk to her. I cajoled her to talk and my MIL talked about the cats and dogs to keep her interest. Though Ashu talked to her a little, she would nt recite rhymes to her. Since they were on speaker phone and while my MIL interrupted her to correct(!) her while she sang the rhymes, Ashu screamed "NO! DON'T SING!". After the call ended, I asked Ashu why she was nt talking to P Paati. She said, "P Paati is BAD BOY. I wont talk to her". I was dumbfounded. When I asked why she said Chumma. Then of course, I had to go on a lecture on how she can never say that about elders and how there are no bad boys anywhere(yeah right!) and she has to like everyone especially family and talk to them. (Am I a hypocrite or what!)


One day she saw a strand of hair on the floor and asked me if its Ashus. I said yes. So she tried to stick it back on her head. I told her that the hair wont stick again and it will fall off. So she held one hand to her head to hold that hair and was walking around for quite some time. What did I tell you about her logic?


Please tell me all kids do this. Off late, Ashu mutters under her breath repeating whatever it is that I am saying to her. Anything that comes out of my mouth is being repeated in a hush hush voice and practised for future use. Its downright scary, I tell ya. All that information shes storing in that little brain of hers! Oh My God, she can actually have me arrested if she repeats certain things in public!


In one of the Dora episodes, Dora is seen with a camera and taking pictures of animals. So Ashu tells me, "Amma, Dora has a camera. She is taking photos like you"! Whoa! You know how much that means to me, Kiddo? Comparing me to the THE Dora? I'm honored!


These days, when she wants to go No 1, she goes to the bathroom, switches on the light, puts her potty seat on top of the pot, pulls the step stool closer, climbs on it, takes off her pants, sits and does her job, gets up, wears her pant, gets down from the stool, flushes the toilet, moves the stool near the sink, climbs on, opens the tap, controls it so that water flow is slow, washes her hands, squeezes soap, rinses, closes the tap, gets down, dries her hands with a towel, moves the step stool back under the sink, switches off the bathroom light and comes out. All the while I'm hiding behind the door and watching her with a proud smile and all teary eyed! My baby girl does nt need me anymore when she wants to pee. Ah! The travails of motherhood!


October 21, 2007

I have found it. I have...

I noticed this tag going around the blogs about "our song" and was wondering what our song was. Sadly we did nt include it in the prenup! ;) I thought back to our Post Engagement days. The movie Kandukonden kandukonden had just released and Hd and I decided to wait until we got married to watch the movie as we wanted that movie to be our first. The wedding date was set, for your information and there was a month or two to go. We both were listening to the songs from this movie all the time. The music was and still is amazing what with A R Rehman composing the music, Rajeev Menon directing and a heavy duty cast with Aishwarya Rai, Tabu, Mammooty, Ajith and Abbas. (Its inspired from Sense and Sensibility) I listened to the title song all the time and was always imagining myself and Hd together. Hds favorite song in this movie was also the same. So its one of our favorite songs still and that song came to me as soon as I read some blogs. Then Sahithi's Mom tagged me and it became official. The customary question of "whats our song, R" was asked today to the better half fully expecting him to blink and stare at me without a clue of what I'm talking about. So imagine my surprise when he takes 2 seconds and asks me "kandukonden,kandukonen?" And I was blown away! I was the one blinking and doing the staring. So even if this was nt our song before, it is now!

Heres the song beautifully rendered by Hariharan and Mahalakshmi Iyer - Kandukonden Kandukonden.

And here are the Lyrics. I have tried a line by line literal translation in English with my funny take (in italics) about it now. How naive I must have been! Ewwwww...

Here I go...

I have found it. I have found the face to fall in love
I have found the Milky Moon (Yeah right!) near my finger tips

I ll be happy if the moonlight falls on the cup, fills it and overflows (Now dont ask me what the cup represents!)
But if it breaks the cup instead, it will break my heart too (Is it an expensive cup, dear?)
Will the one I have set my eyes on ever reach my hands?(His check book perhaps?)

Will she go away and give me tears instead?(But now shes staying and giving him tears instead!)

I have found it. I have...

Bed of roses and begging eyes but my heart is beating fast (Will she fake a headache again?)

With only my soul left, I am all yours (I am tired basically!)

Can I open the door to your solitude? (Little did he know it was the door to the pandoras box)

I have found it. I have...

I see your face in the parting clouds (Clouds? What clouds?)
I hear your voice in the blooming flowers (No wonder you are silent all the time!)

I dream of you with my eyes open (And its Aishwarya Rai when he closes them!)
Loves touch will even upturn a stone (Why dont you try turning a Dosa first?)

Is my journey in search of you? (Apparently NO! Lesson learnt a hard way!)
Will my road lead me to your house? (It did and it was a dead end!)

(Male)O my dream woman, will both of our hearts ever meet? (Dont hold your breath!)

I have found it. I have...

The search of a river is to see the Sea (Oh really? Who told you that? And by the way what happened to that search of yours for the car key this morning?)
The search of my life is to see you (Let me guess! You are still searching, are nt you?)

The river loses itself after reaching the Sea (Here it goes! Its the damn river again!)
But I ll find myself when I reach you (I found out I am an Idiot!)

I will make a garland out of the Stars (Corner shop Flowers will do nicely, thank you very much!)
I might knock on your door any time now (Make sure you give me a call to find out if Im home first)

(Female)O Lord of Love! When I blink, its your eyes which close (Lord of WHAT? And by the way, when I blink it means I dont want to see your face for a while!)

I have found it. I have... (Sigh!)

Now the Tamil lyrics just as it is without me screwing it up!

Kandukonden Kandukonden kaadhal mugam Kandukonden
Viral thodum dhooraththile vennilavu Kandukonden
vennilaa velichcham kinnaththil vizhundhu niraindhaal vazhindhaal magizhchchi
vennilaa velichcham kinnaththai udaiththaal uyirai udaippaal oruththi

(Female)en kann paarththadhu en kai serumo
(Male)kai saeraamalae kanneer serumo

Kandukonden Kandukonden kaadhal mugam Kandukonden ...

(Male)malarmanjam vizhi kenjum manam anjumallavaa
(Female)uyir minjum ival nenjam un thanjamallavaa
(Male)un thanimaik kadhavin thaazh neekkavaa

Kandukonden Kandukonden kaadhal mugam Kandukonden...

(Female)megam thirandhaal adharkul un mugam paarkkiren
pookkal thirandhaal adharkul un kural ketkiren

(Male)kangalaith thirandhun kanavugal valarkkum
kaadhalin viralgal kallaiyum thirakkum

(Female)unnaith thediye ini enadhu payanamo
endhan saalaigal un veettil mudiyumo

(Male)E kanavu mangaiyae unadhu manadhu enadhu manadhil inaiyumo

Kandukonden Kandukonden...

(Male)nadhiyin thedal kadaisiyil kadal kaanbadhu
uyirin thedal kadaisiyil unaikkaanbadhu

(Female)kadal konda nadhiyo mugam thanai izhakkum
naan unnil kalandhaal pudhu mugam kidaikkum

(Male)natchaththirangalai oru naaril kattuven
endha neramum un kadhavu thattuvaen

(Female)E kaadhal dhevane enadhu imaiyil unadhu vizhigaL mooduven

Kandukonden Kandukonden kaadhal mugam Kandukonden...

It sure is romantic in Tamil! ;)

October 16, 2007

A place to call Home.

There was sudden change of plans while we were in Madras(after Hd joined us) and we made a short trip to my home town again. Originally my parents were supposed to stay in Madras until we left for Zurich. But Hd has a weird sense of logic. What with all the pampering I got from my in-laws, he became very jealous and declared that he needs some in-laws love as well. Though my parents were in Madras too, it was nt enough. So we all went to Kmu and were there for 5 days. It was a win win situation for me so I readily nodded for the plan. As soon as we reached my parents house, Ashu declared "Ashus house has come"! Her play pals arrived within no time and I did nt see her after that until it was time to leave again.

I of course took Hd to the Darasuram Temple and that made it my third visit in one month. That's a first for me. Then one day we went to our village. Where my paternal grandpa was born, my dad lived until college and I almost lived and visited until I was 8 years old. Since its hardly an hour from my hometown, I used to go there to stay with my grand parents every weekend, school holidays and such. Its a very,very small village with hardly a dozen houses in our street and we had acres of agricultural land which my grandpa managed with the help of my dad and my uncle. I cant separate my grandpa from the village and I love them both equally. The childhood memories I have made in this village is precious. My sis and I have had fabulous times here. The leisurely baths in the motor sheds, eating raw mangoes and raw mango leaves straight from the trees daring the angry red ants, playing catch under the hot sun with friends and cousins, running helter-skelter at the sight of a water snake, splashing in the temple pond, sitting on top of the Vaikol Por(hay stack) and eating Gems after sorting them by colors, coming home with ant bites and getting a good scolding form Grandma, helping Grandpa count coins and stacking them and rolling then in newspapers, the countless number of dosas that go in listening to old tales, the pampering from the farm help who showed us the sights and allowed us to enter the forbidden dark forest, the imaginary expedition we had in the dark parts of the mango groves, the 7 pm Dheebaaradhanai at the Perumal Temple,.... Oh... I could just go on and on and on... The kittens, the dogs, the kingfisher bird which laid eggs in a hole in our wall,... I can never forget these things until my last breath.

Today our house is dilapidated, it is nt ours anymore, we have sold all our lands, all our neighbors are gone, there are hardly a few familiar faces, the Ilandhai tree is no more, the motor shed is gone.. but still going there with Ashu was an experience on its own. It was Hds first trip there as well and I could nt stop talking. I was going on and on about my childhood to him. How much ever long we are married and how ever long we talk about our childhood with each other, theres always more stuff to tell, is nt there? At least from my side, there always will be. Thanks to my dear village and my beloved city bred Hubby who has never hidden behind the barn door at the ripe old age of 7 and peeked through a hole to see a cow giving birth to a calf! Aww... those days...

October 11, 2007

Did some one say nicknames?

I dont know if I was tagged or not. If I was, I dont know by whom. So sorry about that. But this nick name tag has so much potential that I had to take it. Thanks to those who started this and whoever tagged me or did nt.

Ashu was called Bujju when she was in my tummy. I think my mom started addressing my tummy by this name and Hd followed and soon I did too. So officially this is her first nick.

Hd calls her "Ashu" and thats why I kept the nick for her in this blog. But I never call her Ashu. Mostly I call her by her whole name but there are also many, many more names I use. Like Pattu, Pattaani, Kuttu, Kuttani, Kutti, Chellam, ... the usual.

Then there are some special and peculiar names too. Like

Pillathoor Chellathamma - My grandma mentioned this name to me last month when I was in India and it stuck. Usually when Ashu is throwing a tantrum I say, "you are behaving like Pillathoor Chellathamma" and call her that jokingly when she is being adamant. Apparently, there was this woman Chellathamma who lived in a village called Pillathoor aka Pilloor some 100 years ago and ruled the village with a tight fist and everyone feared her. My grandmas mother used to take her name when her children were being adamant. See how deep the source is? I intend to pass this name on to my grand kids as well!

Parattai engira Azhagu Sundaram - My sister calls Ashu this. Parattai means unruly hair. There was a recent movie with the title "Parattai engira azhagu sundaram" and so my sister started using this name for Ashu. See what I had to live with for 20 years?

Mr.Monk - Do I even have to explain? Ashu has several OCDs and some very similar to
Monk's. Hence the name. But I always use this name in an exasperated tone.

I also change her nick so as to rhyme. Like "Do you want Paal(milk), Pattoos?", Do you want Banana, Battoos?, Kulikiriyaa(bath?), Kuttoos, Juice venumaa, Jittoos? But only when Im alone with Ashu. For obvious reasons!

Another special name is Chinnaalu. There was this woman called Chinnaalu in my fathers village. She was almost my moms age. She was mentally unstable and lived with her parents. She was normal most of the time but went crazy sometimes and as kids we used to be terrified of her. Her parents used to lock her up in a room but she used to remove the ceiling bricks and escape and come to our house to chat with my mom and grandma. She is no more. I dont know how I started calling Ashu by this name but sometimes I do. My dad hates it when I call Ashu as Chinnaalu. All the more reason for me to do so!

I call her as Curly Shu after the movie Curly Sue and also as Noodles Thalayaa(Noodle head) like Koundamani calls Senthil!(Tamil Film Comedians.)

Some movie/TV influenced names include Nemo, Boo, Mowgli, Boots, Martha Monkey, Simba, Cinderalla, ...

Some sweet names like Laddoo, Rasogolla, Gulab Jamoon, Jaangiri, Rasamalai, Strawberry, ...

Some Tamil names like Pattu Kunjalam(silk hair ornament), Azhagu Sundari (beautiful girl), Thangame, Vairame, Patte, Maniye, Muthe, Maragadhame, ... (names of the precious gems), Kannamma,...

The most often used is Kuzhandhai (child), Kutti (small) and Samathu (Good).

My dad calls her Chinna Kutti. (small girl)

My mom calls her all sort of gibberish like puttaanu, gundaanu, pattaanu,...

My FIL calls her "Pichu" and my MIL calls her "Kannu".

There are also some temporary names which make rounds. Ashu calls Mickey Mouse as Picky Pous. So we call her Picky Pous. We also call her Kuvvi(Bird), Punky(Monkey),...

I call her as "OY" when shes showing attitude and Rowdy Raakkamma when shes being a brat.

I got to be honest and confess that theres one more name I use. "Kadankaari" - which means a female who is in debt. The meaning is silly of course but this is the name my mom used the most to scold my sis and I. And its the only thing I use to scold Ashu too. For now! Of course Kadankaari is followed by another word which I am trying hard not to use. And failing. Cant say it here. I dont know if any other Tamil uses it. I have nt heard anyone even mentioning it other than my mom from whom I got it of course! Mail me if you know. We can start a club or something! ;) Utbt and Yaada Yaada - Mind your own business!

I also call her "Amma Thaaye Mahalakshmi" when Im in the verge of blowing up. It means "My mother Goddess Mahalakshmi". But I actually mean "Enough of that. shut up and sit down". Of course Ashu does nt know that. Yet.

October 09, 2007

New Car.

How did I forget to write about this? We have bought a CAR! An used car! Our new car! A silver color, compact Citro├źn. Our first car, actually! That's right, our first car. Well, its a long story but that's what the blog is for so here I go.

When Hd and I got married, we lived in Chennai for 6 months with my In laws. Their car was as good as ours, so there! Then we both moved to Bangalore and since I took my Kinetic Honda with me there, we managed with it. Then after a while, FILs car came to Bangalore with us and stayed. Soon we moved to the UK and the car went to back to FIL. The next time we moved to Bangalore again, we managed with the Kinetic Honda. My uncle who lives in Bangalore gave his scooter as well, so we had two 2 wheelers! Then the last time we moved back to Bangalore again from Swiss along with Ashu, my dad came to the rescue by giving his car as he was hardly using it in our hometown. So for a year, we had his car. Yes, Hd and I are both shameless that way! We have absolutely no qualms squandering stuff from both our parents! For that matter, I have nt bought a single thing for our kitchen in all these years. Every stainless utensil is either my mom's or mil's, the gas stove is mil's, the mixie is my mom's, the microwave is mil's, the rice cooker is mom's, ...

All the time we lived abroad whether it was in the UK or in Swiss, the public transport has been excellent and we never needed a car. But this time with Ashu, things were getting difficult and especially once the winter arrives, its very tough to get out of the house and walk to take a tram or a bus. So we thought it was a good idea to buy a car. We had finalised on one before I left for India but Hd brought the car home when I was in India. So the excitement set in only after I came here. Oh, life is so easy after a car! It would be great if I get a license and start driving too. But generally I am very scared to drive and have zero confidence. I hated driving in Bangalore. Hope I get over it soon.

Ashu has started enjoying the car rides and we have been taking her to theme parks, lakes and play areas every weekend and shes on cloud nine. She can spot our car in a parking lot too which is more than what I can say about Hd! ;)

By the way, Hd thinks I'm overacting when I got a "little" upset that his colleague got to ride in our car and sit in the front seat before I got a chance to. A female colleague, for your kind information! He says that it would nt have bothered me this much if it were a guy. Of course it would nt have! Jeez, whats with these men? Don't they ever get the point?

October 08, 2007

Jungle book.

Last week my cousin and her husband had come to Zurich from the US and stayed with us for 3 days. Oh, what fun! This is the first time someone younger than me in the family was visiting as I am one of the youngest grandkid myself. And technically, the Maapillai(son-in-law) was coming home so I was all geared up to welcome them and cook my way to glory! I don't know how Ashu spots family but she just stuck to my cousin and the couple were ready to cancel their sight seeing plans and stay at home all day long to be with Ashu. And they did do that on the last day. Dora shoes as a gift did play a small role, to be honest! As if that were nt enough, the evening they were leaving, they bought 2 DVDs - Cinderella and Jungle Book and gave them to Ashu. We all watched Jungle Book together for a while and were having fun. Ashu showed some interest.

The next day after they had left, I played the movie again since I have nt watched it a long, long time and Ashu was absolutely hooked! She has watched movies like Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, Ice age, etc... before but she has never sat still for the entire movie. She usually loses interest in a few minutes. But this movie is really something. Its a treat to watch her watching Mowgli. She howls with laughter when Baloo Bear says something funny, gets mighty scared when Sher Khan appears for the first time, giggles when Kaa the snake tries to put Mowgli to sleep, ... Oh its just so heartwarming to see this movie with her. It has become a night time ritual now for the past 3 days. She watches it from beginning to end, and tells me whats going to happen in the next scene. Thankfully its only an hour long movie. But what a movie! The bare necessities....

October 04, 2007


I am really, really confused! I don't know how I'm going to catch up with all the blogs I read regularly. A little break and the amount of posts I have to catch up with is just overwhelming. Add to that, my laptops charger has died and it has been a month since we ordered one but no sight of it yet! So I'm using Hds laptop in the mornings and evenings hence the less frequent posts and absolutely no comments anywhere! Though I'm dying to upload Ashus photos, I don't want to clutter his office laptop with lots of photos. Its so frustrating. And the little blog hopping I did, I realized I have missed two of my favorite blog babies Birthdays. Belated Birthday wishes Poppin and Kodi. I identify so much with their moms since I feel we have very similar parenting styles and Poppin and Kodi are also very similar to Ashu in their temperaments and attitudes. Though Ashu is 5 months older than them, in a year or two that will not be a difference at all and I cant wait to see what these trio are up to then! If we moms are still blogging, that is! Even otherwise, we will be in touch, won't we Gals?

I don't know where to start reading, whom to start with, where to leave comments. Reading
JLT, I realized Dotmoms husband had a heart attack and went to her site. What a relief to know hes better now. Then went to Rohins post on Maid from Dotmom. Then to Rbdans from Kodis mom, Mnamma from UTBT, Poppins from Moppet, Noon from a comment she left somewhere, generally I'm hopping here, there and everywhere. I need strategy. Before that, I need my laptop back. NOW!
baby growth