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August 29, 2014

Pillayar Chaturthi Special - 2014.

Lack of time and last year's clay meant that we had to work hard on our Pillayar this year. Quite a team effort with Ashu in charge of the head, trunk, one tusk and two legs and Antu taking over two hands, a half trunk and the plate with laddus! Hd struggled with the thoppai, ears and the mouse and I, as usual, was the fixer upper - the Pillayar of this family! :)

I was thinking of my Thatha, paternal grandfather, so much as we were making the Pillayar. I remember I was Antu's age when I used to sit next to him in our village and he used the dark kali mannu (clay) to make the Pillayar. And I can't describe the beauty of it. The smell of the eera kali mannu (wet clay) along with the banana leaf it came wrapped in, the way his experienced hand shaped the Pillayar, the nearby kenaru (well), the whole house getting ready for the poojai,... such a heady memory! He passed away exactly 15 years ago today. This Pillayar is for you, Thatha. You would have been proud!

Happy Ganesh Chathurthi everyone!

August 18, 2014

4.Klasse and Kindergarten 2.

Five weeks of sleeping late and waking up late took its toll this morning as the entire household was in a frenzy! Antu who was so excited about going back to school got up at 4 am and then at 5 am and then at 6 am to ask if it was morning yet. And around 6.30 she was seen giving finishing touches to the cat she was supposed to color and bring to school! And at 7.30, we had to shake her and wake her up! She wanted to be the first to go to school since she wanted to choose the peg she wanted. (The one with the parrot picture in it) And we made it! Yay! Little joys of life!

Ashu was very independent and organized as usual and walked on her own to school and did nt want us to walk with her. Her new teacher has made a good impression on her and the teachers daughter is also in the same class, so there were funny stories to share. (The teacher said that we have to get a signature from our parents and the teacher in the homework, Amma! L needs only one signature, ha ha!) 

I spent the whole day trying to organize the after school activities! Antu is doing tennis other than ballet and swimming. (And she wanted to go to a painting class because her BFF is going but I said no way much to her disappointment!) And I cancelled Ashus swimming and soon I ll cancel Chess too after this term. So she will go for her violin and tennis as usual. She was also selected for an orchestra and I was very keen that she goes but that day did nt suit us so she had to let go of that too. Its all good because todays the first day and its 8.30 pm and she's still doing her home work! A fictional story half page or more is the requirement. So of course she will sit and write a 2 page fantasy story that Rama Narayanan would have been proud to direct! 

But seriously, fourth grade? I as well retire now!

August 04, 2014

Heidi Trail.

Last Friday was a holiday as it was Swiss National day and even though the weather was a bit iffy, we decided to get out of the house anyway and headed to Bad Ragaz to explore the Heidi Trail. We parked our car at the cable car station and took the cable car up to Pardiel. It started to rain a bit but soon the sun came out and all was well. At the ticket office, the girls got a Heidi passport and they have to find Peter's goats at each of the 12 stations and get a stamp on their paper and all the 12 stamps make a word (which I won't tell since it would ruin the surprise of future adventure seekers who might be reading this! ) Then they can post this on the Heidi post box and wait to see if they win any prizes! So the girls were thrilled with the whole thing. And instead of us motivating them to walk, it was them who were dragging us all the way! It takes around 2 to 3 hours to finish the whole trail since there are play areas on the way, fake goats to milk, hammocks to laze on, zip lines and swings with views to kill, water falls, bird houses, Heidi story boards and last but not least, so many photo oppurtunites! :) 

The trail was a bit uphill for about 10 minutes which the kids did nt mind but my knees sure did! The views were so amazing that the kids got very impatient with me that I was standing and staring. At one point, they went ahead of us, found the next goat, got the stamp and ran back to us because they just could nt wait! It all started as Team Antu and Team Ashu with me in Antus team and Hd in Ashus. But towards the end, it was the kids against us! :) I had packed some sandwiches to eat on the way. And then after the hike, we went to the restaurant near the cable car station and treated ourselves to ice cream and a fantastic apricot cake with fresh fruits and cream. Yum! The kids played in the play area nearby and around 5 pm, took the cable car back, posted the passports at the Heidi post box and headed home. A great alpine experience for the kids! 

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