Archive for July, 2011

Wish I grow up soon!

Well, I turned 33 last week and I mother two kids, but does that mean I am all grown up… Nope and this birthday proved it yet again!! I declared to my DH a couple of weeks back that this year we will not celebrate our birthdays but wait and later celebrate after I land in a job – Ours are quite close just 15 days apart! However from my childhood days, birthdays have always been special to me, even as I grew up, the attachment to it has not faded.. After two kids, still I get excited when July arrives… πŸ™‚ In fact now it does make me older, but that hasn’t affected how I feel about birthdays…

During childhood, the excitement may be because birthdays meant new dress and that too just for me and not for anyone else in the family!! Once June sets in, the excitement would begin and would only increase many-fold, once the birthday dress is purchased. I used to celebrate three birthdays every year : One – my date of birth, Second – the day my birth star falls and Third – The first Aadi Tamil month Friday ( I was born on the first friday of that month!).. Of course there was only one new dress reserved to be worn to school on the DOB.

During those days, I used to wait till the day ended and at night try to remember the friends who had missed the birthday and then begin questioning them the next day! πŸ™‚ that used to be the fun part.. But these days with the social networking sites, even people who may not know your birthday find the day and wish you promptly! So I am not able to corner my friends anymore.. that fun is lost, still this year there was one close friend G who had missed wishing me (apparently she hadn’t logged into face-book that day!) and guess what I did, called her and left a message prompting her to wish me.. πŸ™‚ So that’s how kiddish I am when it comes to birthday..

Back to the D-day, it was such another low-key day in the morning, that I wished I hadn’t said no celebration this year.. How can I not get at least a card in the morning right! Foolish me was looking for some surprise card or simple gift in the kitchen, I even checked the microwave, knowing that is the first stuff I use, to make coffee in the morning; I was like this would be a perfect place to keep my gift..Β  But once I knew my DH has taken what I told quite seriously, I moved around seeming alright, inside I was fuming, how it can turn out to be an ordinary day.. 😦 To make matters worse, when I spoke to folks back home, they did not remember it was my birthday and I was not feeling quite good to tell them myself.. And the worst bit was when they asked me to not forget to wish another relative the next day! 😦 Imagine my plight at that…Β  In spite of S telling them over phone about some surprise she was going to plan in the evening; she locked herself in her room when she said that but I was able to hear her nonetheless! Anyway after we hung up, I guess they did end up looking at the calendar so I got a call a hour later wishing me.. So I kind of forgave them and lied to them that what are birthdays when all I do is end up getting older.. πŸ™‚

As how always things end up getting worse once the day begins lousily, for no reason our western toilet started overflowing.. 😦 I called the apt office but I had to wait for an hour before that could be fixed. Protecting A from venturing in the bathroom while I used all the wash clothes and mats to soak up the water so the damage would be confined to the bathroom..Β  It was kind of a worst nightmare ever… My DH did offer to come back from work to fix this, and did not want me to do anything till he came in..Β  But I magnanimously asked him to continue working while I take care of it..Β  So after the plumber fixed the issue, I had to scrub the floor with bleach cleansers and take all the mats to laundry. It took better part of three hours before I could bring some normalcy to the home, meanwhile S and A were both screaming with hunger.. Ended up taking a second bath to feed them, and then returned to cleaning again.. It was QUITE a morning!!

We also had a dentist appointment for S that day, so had another proper bath after the cleaning ended, the third that day, I did not even feel like wearing a new dress. This is the first year when I have skipped wearing a new dress for the birthday.. There is alwaysΒ  a first right, so this was that day..Β  We went to the dentist appointment and that was when the day seemed to turn around for me! My kids as always charmed everyone there and wherever I turned, people were like you have beautiful kids.. And S talked a lot to the Dr, she had her list of questions to ask the dentist, starting from “Are tooth fairies real?” to “Why would my gums bleed at times?”. When the doctor asked her if she had moved in recently to the States, she gave a two minute long answer starting from where she was born to all the places she had visited and how she is not sure how long she will be here in the US now.. The dentist turned toΒ  me and said “I bet there will never be a dull moment at your household”. πŸ™‚

After the dentist appointment, S and my DH drove away from home to the mall nearby and then I knew what surprise they were talking about.. They let me and A at the play area and ventured into JCP.. I told my hubby to not let S get anything extravagant and as I knew S would be upset if I want to return it. Anyway the duo were gone for around 20 mins and brought back the wonderful thoughtful gifts.. I have to mention this; right in the middle of shopping, S ran to me hiding something behind her back and told me, “I am getting something for Appa but want that to be a surprise for him, so told him the gift is for you.. So please act so.”. She is a drama queen and even when she is picking one for me, she is dramatizing the situation, thinking she can confuse me with new facts!!

S got me a beautiful sterling silver necklace with a big S pendant and two hearts at both the corners of the letter S. She said one heart was her and the other A. I just loved it and wearing it everyday now. She has asked me to treat it like my thaali and not remove it! πŸ™‚ But then she did add, since it is letter S pendant and stands for Sahaana may be I can share it with her when she goes to school all dressed up some day!! πŸ™‚ So she picked up a gift that would suit her too, smart gal!! My DH got me a very nice sun glass black tinted. The one I have is with brown lens and have always wanted one black, he had remembered that and got me!!Β  We ended the day having my ever favourite mexican food! So that was how the day went!!

It was definitely not the lack of presents that put me off in the morning, I sure know better than to associate happiness to presents. It is just that growing up, birthdays were always dear to me, and somehow it was like THE special day and you get all the attention, my phone wouldn’t stop ringing and friends would pour in.. Now with all these additional growing up expected out of me due to motherhood et al, still my bday is a day when I slip in back to my teens and love and expect appropriate pampering, adulation and limelight! πŸ™‚ Is it too much to ask???

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I notice that in my blog, the least read posts are those related to my book thots! Still I do want to continue this.. It is that I usually run out of books to suggest, when someone asks me for a decent read and from my reading speed, newer books overwrite the old ones and I tend to forget what I have read and how I felt about them except for those exceptional ones that moved me! So I am trying to capture here, in my blog, the books I read as well! On an average I read about 2 books a week and it has increased to 5-6 now that I have more time and access to the US public libraries! To me a trip to the library is more fun than even shopping trips, and the joy of discovering new authors, new books, it is so much fun!! Books brought me and my DH together and I am one of those lucky ones who did not have to curb the book reading habit after wedlock! In fact after the marriage I began reading even more voraciously!! But the only cliche to this is that we dont read the same books! If a Venn diagram is drawn to represent the genres we read, the intersection part would be sooo slim!! So if i have to review a book with someone, I first have to sell the book to my book reading friends, wait for them to complete the book and then discuss! So this blog spares me from troubling my friends from reading the books.. Anyway this post is going to deal with more than a book!!

1. Edge by Jeffrey Deaver

I have read a lot of Jeffrey Deaver’s books and this one was really a Spine-tingling thriller!! The story about a US Govt agency protecting a family from a ‘lifter’. This ‘lifter’, a new word to me, refers to a person who literally ‘lifts’ or extracts information from a target person by any means necessary, more often psychologically coercing them by targeting people close to the victim. The catch in this novel, was that the protagonist Corte knew only the last name of a family and initially assumed the DC detective, the father in the family to be the victim of the ruthless lifter Henry Loving. Later by elimination there are other speculations about who might actually be the target of the ‘lifter’, and in the end the victim happens to the least suspected person in the family. It was definitely a page-turner.Β  There were enough unexpected twists in the stories to keep you hooked. The Protagonist had prior history with the lifter; he had lost his mentor to him few years earlier during another case. SoΒ  was he taking the ‘shepherding’ of the family a little too personally and trying to outsmart the lifter putting this family in the war zone… Maybe… but this whole concept of shepherding the families from a lifter and trying to out-think the lifter’s every move was very absorbing!

First my DH read this book and I noticed how hooked he was to it and when I chided him about that, all he said was wait till you read the book! πŸ™‚ And I did understand what he was saying when I read the book. A definite read folks!! Don’t miss it.

2. Vine of Desire by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

This book is a sequel to CBD’s Sister of my heart that introduces to soul sisters Sudha and Anju. We journey through the interwoven lives of the cousin sisters Anju and Sudha in both the books and see them pass through childhood, teens and into womanhood.Β  The first book dealt with the sisters initial years in India but Vine of Desire brings the sisters together in the land of desire USA and how they are tragically separated forever. The author writes her prose close to poetry and her similes are excellent all through the book and at one point you would long to just interfere in their lives and make sure Sudha and Anju do not drift away. The hopes and dreams of the Indian immigrants are beautifully portrayed and it does hint how many folks look at settling in the US as a way to evade interference from immediate family. I personally liked the first book Sister of my heart better than this.

On a separate note, I would urge you to read “Palace of Illusions” by CBD. It is a narration by Draupati of our epic Mahabharatha ! The women’s perpective to the epic, it is and more importantly, a woman from the same epic! I found it very enthralling and it was one of those books my DH did not want to read, saying the epic is quite close to his heart and would not want to know CBD’s take on the story! πŸ™‚

3. Eat, Pray and Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I heard nothing but raving reviews for this book and have been waiting to read it. In India, I was quite busy with A the first year so just could not find time for a non-fiction like this, which I thought would invoke introspection. But I was quite wrong, now that I have read it, I do not think this book is great or worth any introspection at all. There was no depth in the narration and somehow it did not appeal to me at any level. I did read through the book wondering ifΒ  may be at some point I would be impressed. Here the author spends the trying time after her difficult divorce, in three parts, in Italy(Eat), India(Pray) and Love(Indonesia). May be I was wrong in expecting too much just based on the reviews. The author herself doesn’t commit that it is going to be a spiritual journey of any sort, all she is doing is capturing her one year of soul-searching in a memoir fashion. From the background I come from, being divorced from a marriage because she realized she is not cut out for motherhood and then being dumped by a boyfriend during the divorce proceedings, doesn’t qualify her to be a devastated woman, especially since she sets out on this one year journey after the $200,000 book advance!Β  It is just the hype associated with the book that may be forced people to like it whether it appealed to them or not. Anyway let me stop judging others perspective. I was not impressed and there it ends!

4. Boy meets girl by Meg Cabot

Wow!! This made such a hilarious read!! Another kind of epistolary novel, the entire book is made up of emails, letters, office memos, transcripts from IM conversations and messages on answering machine of the telephone!! You will not find any chapters at all. You can just breeze through theΒ  book in half a day and I guarantee every page would make you laugh at least once!!

In short, the story is about on Kate Mackenzie a HR rep who works for a TOD (Tyrannical Office Depot)Β  engaged to a snobbish lawyer Stuart Hertzog. As much as Kate hates her boss and her fiancee she ends up fancying Stuart’s handsome brother Mitchell. She ends up meeting lawyer Mitchell when she is forced by her TOD to fire the most popular cafeteria employee who makes the BESTEST desserts in the world. You will also end up with a sweet tooth hearing about the mouth-watering desserts of the dessert lady! πŸ™‚

I have two more books that I have read but I guess they can wait for a later post! I have been working on this post for few days now and I would rather post this today!!

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I know I have only been blogging about S and not a word about A. It is not that am partial! To be frank I was indeed very apprehensive when I discovered A’s presence in my tummy, I wondered if I can love another child as much as I loved S. Till that moment S had an all-pervading presence in my life. A very good friend of mine who had two kids then, answered my question about sharing love in a very beautiful manner. She said with each pregnancy the mother’s heart just doubles, to accommodate the new child.. It became sooo true… The moment I set my eyes upon A, it was like a fresh motherhood all over again…

As special as it was when I first held S, it was no different holding A for the first time too. He invoked such wondrous feelings in me, that my heart just burst with happiness. The first time I saw S and A together in that hospital room is still so vivid to me and I will never forget the wonder in S’s eyes when she saw A and how even then on day one,Β  A seemed to sense S’s presence and turn to her.

It was quite funny that the first day S met A at the hospital, she wore a T shirt with the caption “Allergic to boys”. I did not note that till a friend of mine pointed that out in the first pictures of the duo I had shared!!

A was kind of the perfect baby any mom would love to have. He was a small baby mostly lost in meditative states, he even folded his legs when he was hardly two weeks, giving a Dhakshinamurthy posture!!Β  He gave me enough time to get adjusted to the ‘new mother’ condition. He was a lovely little bundle of joy sleeping most of the nights, without troubling me. But he was so good at it, I mean sleeping through the night, that we ended up having a lot of nursing issues! Apparently he loved me so much that he did not even want to trouble me by nursing!! But boy , that made me so sad. No one would believe a mother would be having nursing issues for the second kid. The initial months were so difficult that even in Chennai I ended up hiring lactation consultants, unheard of in Chennai!! But A and I battled through the tough times and now after he turned one,I introduce a bottle to him, he flatly refuses, giving me a look ” Don’t you remember how hard it was for you to make me forget this and now YOU are offering the same to me??” Same reaction to sippy cups too!! So A is the kind of baby who refuses to take milk in any form other than from me!! I don’t know how long this is going to continue though!! I am kind of leaning towards ‘baby-led-weaning’ this time around as I am a stay-at-home mom now..

A would have been the only baby at 13 months, to have had JUST solid foods all through the flight travel from Chennai to Minneapolis!! πŸ™‚ I remember when attending my cousin’s wedding, the caterer came to me and said, “Thambikku paal venumna sollu ma, kondu varrennnu!” (Let me know if you need milk for the little one). After that guy left, my sis and I couldn’t stop laughing for a long time! This thambi is not just another little one who would gladly drink milk!

When A was in my tummy, I got advice from everyone about how I should make sure S doesn’t feel left out after A’s birth. So my standard response to that was I would only be concentrating on S, as for the first one year, all the baby would care was feeds from the mother, otherwise the baby would just grow up! I will make sure S accepts the little addition before concentrating on A. I am sure A kept hearing all that and wondering if I knew what was in store for me. So it turned out that he did take ALL my attention!!! A had two surgeries in the first year, one right when he was 45 days old and the next when he was 10 months old. It killed me to send him off with the nurse to the operation theater both times and Oh my, the waiting was horrible in its own way.The wait outside the theater would literally tear me apart and I would start breathing normally only when the nurse hands him over to me after the procedure; he would be wailing so loud, still that wailing sounded like Beethoven to me. I hope to God his suffering and surgeries for this birth are over and he lives a long and healthy life that he deserves!

As A is growing, it is evident how he just adores S and is fascinated by her. Even in his deep sleep, he would know the minute S is home from school. It is like the Mudhal Mariyathai movie : Sivaji – Radhika scene, he would open his eyes the moment S opens the front door. Though S excludes A in her playing, he would be around hoping she would change her mind! It would be heartbreaking to see him cry with huge baby tears when S in her sibling-hatred moment, would just close the door to her room, so he cannot enter and trouble her. In those instances, I would side A and force S to include him. Then I would end up hearing her complain how I have changed so much and how I prefer A over her..Β  πŸ™‚

Unlike S’s first year, I have been with A all his first year as I was working from home, and then quit that as well. So he thinks, I am an extension of him or the other way around. He needs to see me the moment he gets up, if not, all the hell would break lose. However much he would accept others, I need to be around in his vicinity all the time. He is turning out to be a typical ‘Amma-kondu’. I hope he gets over this, once he starts daycare.

He would usually rush to my lap the moment S comes to me, as if establishing his claim. He cannot even accept my DH sitting next to me in the couch, he HAS to come and sit between us, leaning on me!!! The other day, instead of S leaning on me as usual, I went to her side and was cuddling up to her. A found this very amusing and did not know how to respond!! He wore such a funny expression and I immediately asked my DH to capture it for me in a picture.

A seems to have completed our family and I am not even able to recollect how it was when it was just the three of us. My DH V is waiting for him to grow up so he can share all his sports passion with him. S has clearly expressed her total disinterest in the UN-girly sports et al;Β  So it is going to be interesting watching A grow up and the duo get hooked up to sports!

P.S : I said A ‘seems’ to have completed our family because this motherhood feels so nice, that I wouldn’t mind undergoing this all over again.. Now that I know the heart expands, I can love another little one as much as I love S and A… πŸ™‚ I am sure my DH would be terrorized by such a thought, but strangely it does appeal to me!! πŸ˜‰

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Kids these days seem to know so much that even when they give excuses, they are not lame! The other day I took S for the July 4th Independence day fireworks. She was clearly scared when the lights were all out and the fireworks began. She did not want even me to know she was scared, so she asked me if I knew that there were actually ear drums in the ears and if they get exposed to too much noise, they would stop working and it would mean trouble. When I did not respond to her at all, being enthralled with the awesome display of fireworks, she literally shouted out “What Amma, do you want me to be deaf all my life? I am not even 7 yrs old and you want me to become deaf? It may be alright for you as you are old.” Then I told her if it were that bad, I would not have brought her out here. So I asked her to forget about the fear and enjoy.

Did that stop my darling? Nope!! She started blaming the Government for allowing all this noise and air pollution. πŸ™‚ She was all freaked out and said when she becomes part of the Government, she would put a stop to all this. Wow, that was a shock to me, I did not know she had plans of becoming part of the Government. When I asked her later about how she thought she can become part of Government, she looked at me with the most amusing look and asked “What? Have you not heard of elections? I am going to get elected to the office.” So she did know what she was talking about. About 10 mins later she found me in the kitchen and asked if I would vote for her when she it stands. πŸ™‚

S is attending summer school right now and is learning all about Ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt, it is like they are taking the kids through time. She is totally fascinated by all that she is learning and has been picking books from the library related to those topics. As she was reading through a kids book about Egypt, she was asking us about mummies and how different it is to wrap dead people into mummies from burning them off. I explained to her it is just the Egyptian way of preserving the dead, not wanting to venture into the topic of after-life! But hey she surprised me by asking, so by mummifying the body, there were preventing the circle of life? Whoaa.. that was surprising, though she has always been fascinated by what would happen when people die.Β  I did not know she could articulate her thought into the words ‘circle of life”.

S would always tell me how she used to watch me from heaven above, and how she decided on our wedding day that we should be her parents. She has this great imagination of how God Perumal fed her food and Muruga played hide and seek with her. She also thinks she chose A to be her brother when she met him at some God’s birthday party! All her rampant imagination and stories in heaven can make one big post by itself..

I think kids these days should slow down for their parents sake! I mean how much can you take a day..

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I did mention in my earlier post that I was going to gift a letter to my hubby for our wedding anniversary. I did and embarrassed him much! He is not a person who can take flattery easily! πŸ™‚Β  Though I told him the letter just lists the stuff I love about him, occasion being our anniversary, I did not want to touch upon the dislikes, so he can be assured that I do have some stuff I dislike! Still it was tough for him to accept it gracefully!! πŸ™‚ Anyway I am just publishing the censored version of a part of the letter I gave him. I want everyone to know what a great guy he is and how incredibly lucky I am!!

So here it goes!

It is our wedding anniversary! We have had wonderful, memorable, great, not-so-great, not-great-at-all moments in all these years together!!Β  And every one of those moments was special to me no matter what, because it was with you I lived and shared those moments..

I am so glad you are part of my life. I love you for being my most adorable purushan and more than that, for the wonderful dad you are to our kids!

I will be thankful eternally to all the so-called-planetary elements that brought us together!

We are so attuned to each other that I dont ever have to explain myself even during my freak days! I love your total and unconditional acceptance of me!

I love our one-night-only rule so we can have the CRAZIEST fights and not worry about the repercussions, becoz we would be fine the next morning! πŸ™‚ Isn’t that cool??

I love the way you avoid taking sides when I just vent out my frustration about any of our close kin, and just patiently listen me out, thus bringing my temper down.

I love how you are always ready to take care of our kids when I am in that last few chapters of the book I am reading! Who can be that lucky to have a hubby who is so responsive to her reading needs?!

And of course I love to read books nudging against your shoulder while you are busy reading your book! πŸ™‚ I know some people may find us crazy reading our brains out when we have the private time! But hey this is our way of being totally happy! So what!! πŸ™‚

I love how you always know when I need an ice cream, though I would clearly say I dont need it and how I am on a diet! πŸ™‚

I love how you make sure, first it is I who eats the dinner, on my fasting days. You would not even allow me to feed the kids before I have my first meal of the day at dinner time! Such a caring hubby you are; though you dont like me fasting, you dont stop me!

I love how we just live our lives the way we like, with very little compromises. You dont expect me to change at all in any way, it is only me, the bad me who forces you at times to try stuff you dont like! I promise I would try not to do that often this year and eventually stop doing that too..

I love how you have the same rasam for three consecutive days and still everyday say it is good! πŸ™‚ You would in all probability be the only husband who scolds a wife who cooks everyday!

I love how you love to put the kids to sleep. You would not mind rocking A for even an hour to put him to sleep, though in the end, Hyperactive A would sleep for hardly 15 mins! Nothing deters you from parenthood, changing dirty nappies or washing soiled clothes or handling colicky babies; you are the best dad, any wife can hope from her hubby!!

I love how you try to surprise me on my birthdays with great salwars! Though you know I never pick up the ones you show me during our shopping trips. That doesnt deter you from choosing stuff for me and I love it how I end up liking the dresses you gift much more than the ones I would have spent hrs choosing!

I love how you never hover over me when I am at my mom’s place! How you wait till I make the call to you even if it is 24 hrs after I leave you.. You find it perfectly alright that I forget to call you when I meet my mom or sisters! πŸ™‚

I love the way you treat my parents and sisters and how they all warm up to you. I love how my dad listens to you more than me! I totally love the way you embraced my whole family!

I love you for not getting bothered at all with my quite long conversations over fone with my best friends! You seem to be content with the fact that at least none of my best friends are in our neighborhood! πŸ™‚

I love the way you respect my space and dont pry into my stuff. You know I have been blogging recently, still you do not ask me for the site, you know I would share it with you when I am ready.

My love list for you would go on and on, my dear! Thank you for finding me and being a part of my life.. I dont know what I would do withoutΒ  you!! Happy Anniversary!

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I really needed a light reading after the Banville book. My friend Arch suggested the right one! The book I just completed is “A celibate season” by Carol Shields and Blanche Howard.

A long time friends, the authors of this epistolary novel, write letters to each other taking the roles of the couple Jocelyn and Charles, who are happily married with two kids, till they take a 10 month long separation due to Jocelyn’s work. Quoting Wikipedia,Β  an epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. Here it is the letters between the husband and the wife.

The book is so interesting that you would hardly like to put it down. I took two days to complete only because of the parental pressure! πŸ™‚ It was fun to watch the husband Chas take the household responsibilities and how easily he tries to tailor the home to his taste and ends up upsetting his wife Jock. It is kind of an unspoken rule in any household that the kitchen belongs to the person who uses it the most, rather spends time in there the most, which would invariably be the wife. And no wife can tolerate any changes to the kitchen without her concurrence. I have even seen my own mom’s discomfiture when my grandma cooks beside her in her kitchen, and tries to rearrange stuff! So, I could not believe the husband was stupid enough to attempt such a transformation in the kitchen all the while thinking he can pleasantly surprise his wife!! Poor guy, he sure takes a beating for that from his wife..

The wife Jock does turn out to be a hard-to-please woman after enjoying a taste of her professional success, she is suddenly turning blind to her husband’s love and her family ties. A part of her wants her old life back and a part of her enjoys the freedom away from the household chores and responsibilities and wants to scale newer heights in her career.

When the couple decided to exchange the old fashioned letters, I am sure they had romantic thoughts in mind. Little did they think how too much information on a day-to-day basis would drift them apart as their environments turn out to be totally unknown. Also even after you have committed to certain thoughts in a letter, by the time the other party reads the stuff and talks about that to you, you may have changed your mind. So there is always a disparity in the understanding levels.

Another food for thought from this novel is how a geographically displaced couple can keep a marriage intact and what a prolonged separation do to them.Β  Though it is said that a little separation adds spice to relationships, I beg to differ. When you are together as a couple, there is this interdependency that brings you together, however when you are apart and are getting used to leading separate individual lives, the interdependency is lost and an invisible bridge would come between the couples. Nothing can bridge that gap and every tryst would be looked forward with too much expectation and the couple cannot satisfy each others emotional needs in that rendezvous, tending to split them further apart. It will be very difficult to empathize with the other half’s life as that life is not familiar to you. Phone calls can only do so much, even a detailed commentary of whats happening on a day-to-day basis would be no substitute to being physically present. These are just my own thoughts and am not passing a judgment on couples who are staying apart and am definitely not willing their relationship to fail. The separation that I am referring to is at least 4-5 months apart and not talking about couples meeting every weekend! I guess that’s enough disclaimer from me! πŸ™‚

Anyways I have always been a sucker for getting physical REAL letters as opposed to emails and I have my share of instances when I have sent letters to my dear folks. But to me physical letters can only be carrier of good news. So I have resorted to letters only when I have been overwhelmed with emotions and my speech cannot justify my love. I remember how my amma used to be excited to receive letters from her mother, of course then the letter was also a carrier of all news and updates. Still my amma felt the letter transported her back to her home village and the familiar surrounding in which she grew up, before she traveled 300 miles away with her husband. That feeling in her and her happiness, made strong impressions in me and since my childhood, I have resorted to writing letters whenever I felt my words were inadequate.

I have also given an ultimatum to my hubby that the best gift he can give me anytime would be a real LETTER from him to me.Β  πŸ™‚ He is person of few words and it will be a very difficult task, nevertheless I still hope he gives me one before my lifetime!! πŸ™‚ Since I read this book weeks before our wedding anniversary, I know what I am going to gift my hubby this year. It will be a letter from me!

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S is growing up so fast and I already feel like I am dealing with a teen! I know I sound so redundant. But what can I say when this is how I feel everyday when I deal with her. She surprises rather I should say bewilders us everyday with the new stuff she learns at school, and believe me it is not all academic! πŸ™‚ She told A this morning, “Hey, I totally dig you man!” .Β  And she said yesterday, “What the heck is all this ruckus about?” again to her baby brother! He loves that he has her attention now.. And I clearly see S using A as a person to whom she can use her new idioms and phrases she learns at school and master them as well! She also tried using the wrong “S” word a couple of times and my hubby told her that will not be acceptable at home; immediately she askedΒ  if it was acceptable when she is out with her friends..Β  Yeah, we have to be clear on the specific applicability of any rule we impose, she doesn’t want any room for ambiguity..Β  We keep advising her to use her inner voice when we are out, and she would try to keep her voice down, however when she found out she cant keep this on forever, she said she wanted to have a private talk with me! When I went to her room, she was like “Amma, I only have one voice, I don’t have a separate inner and outer voice. So please try to live with this one voice. Tell this to appa also so he understands this.” I was speechless!

S was telling me the other day that she actually has a boy friend, but it is not like love-love boyfriend just a friend-friend boy friend! Before I could ask her any question, she was like “What, can I not like a person?” What do you answer to that? I guess when we put her in the summer school we did not realize we had signed her up on an accelerated learning course to become an All-American-Gal!

The other day S and I were walking from my bank to meet my hubby at another bank where he had some business. As we were walking down, it so happened my hubby’s work had already got over and he was coming to pick us up. He saw us from the car from the other side of the road and turned around to pick us up. As S and I were waiting for the car to reach us, S asked me how did appa see you? Now you would understand why I had to totally explain the context in which the question was asked. I told her he should have spotted us from the car, of course.Β  Then she was like, Oh amma I want to know where appa saw you first and how did he think you were the right girl for him. I was kind of unprepared, so just got out with the facts. We were working in the same company and hence met. She started her stream of Qs, “So you just met and were friends and then started liking each other like love? and how come your parents knew about this? Did appa tell his parents and you yours? How did you know he is the right person?”Β  My hubby rescued me by picking us up just then, anyway i ended up telling our life’s story to her! πŸ™‚ I did anticipate I had to answer such questions at some point, but did not think it would be this early!! Apparently, she has been intrigued by a discussion at her summer school and subsequent reading of a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon, where Hobbes sings the song,

“First comes love;

then comes marriage;

then comes baby,

in a baby carriage!”

Now she sings this song all the time. I hope she gets over this song and moves over!! A starts dancing to S’s song as well! It is funny to watch them both..


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