Away

Back to Uni. I may not be able to blog till Wednesday.. Plenty of work to do.

I have a question that I hope one of you would be able to help me.

What exactly is pachari..  ?????? in English?

Amma used to make dosai batter with pachari. What I remember is that the grains were almost like glutinous rice colour..opaque white.

So is Pachari glutinous rice?

 

Happiness

I received two invitations yesterday to attend the award ceremony from my children’s high school. Both Yaya and Toothless have won the award for their respective grade.

It felt so good to open the invitation and to see my children’s name. This will be the last year the two of them would be receiving the award in the same venue, as my son is going to another school next year.

Obviously the first reaction for some of parents would be that I am a pushy mother and that is why my children get all the honours.

Am I a pushy mother?

Yes, I am.

I pushed beyond all obstacles to give my children my time. When every child was attending early learning activities, I stayed home with my children and we painted, read stories and played hide and seek. I pushed for a TV free childhood.

I pushed them to believe in themselves and taught them it is ok to fail and to learn from their mistakes. I taught them “no matter how many mistakes you make or how slow your progress is, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying”

I pushed them to believe that sky is the limit and the world is theirs to conquer.

I pushed them to believe that even if each of them are only one person, they still can change the world to make it a better place to live and that change starts with them.

I pushed them to remember always that there will always be someone more smarter than them and just as there will always be someone not as smart as them. I taught them not to  be judgemental.

Most importantly I pushed them to work hard, set their goals high and enjoy the challenges.. and that the journey of life is nothing but Zeno’s paradox.. each time you think you conquered something, you will learn that there are more to conquer..

I don’t have time to write about Zeno’s paradox. so I am copying what someone had already written. (http://platonicrealms.com/encyclopedia/Zenos-Paradox-of-the-Tortoise-and-Achilles)

The Tortoise challenged Achilles to a race, claiming that he would win as long as Achilles gave him a small head start. Achilles laughed at this, for of course he was a mighty warrior and swift of foot, whereas the Tortoise was heavy and slow.

“How big a head start do you need?” he asked the Tortoise with a smile.

“Ten meters,” the latter replied.

Achilles laughed louder than ever. “You will surely lose, my friend, in that case,” he told the Tortoise, “but let us race, if you wish it.”

“On the contrary,” said the Tortoise, “I will win, and I can prove it to you by a simple argument.”

“Go on then,” Achilles replied, with less confidence than he felt before. He knew he was the superior athlete, but he also knew the Tortoise had the sharper wits, and he had lost many a bewildering argument with him before this.

“Suppose,” began the Tortoise, “that you give me a 10-meter head start. Would you say that you could cover that 10 meters between us very quickly?”

“Very quickly,” Achilles affirmed.

“And in that time, how far should I have gone, do you think?”

“Perhaps a meter—no more,” said Achilles after a moment’s thought.

“Very well,” replied the Tortoise, “so now there is a meter between us. And you would catch up that distance very quickly?”

“Very quickly indeed!”

“And yet, in that time I shall have gone a little way farther, so that now you must catch that distance up, yes?”

“Ye-es,” said Achilles slowly.

“And while you are doing so, I shall have gone a little way farther, so that you must then catch up the new distance,” the Tortoise continued smoothly.

Achilles said nothing.

“And so you see, in each moment you must be catching up the distance between us, and yet I—at the same time—will be adding a new distance, however small, for you to catch up again.”

“Indeed, it must be so,” said Achilles wearily.

“And so you can never catch up,” the Tortoise concluded sympathetically.

“You are right, as always,” said Achilles sadly—and conceded the race.

 

 

Porn and you.

First of all, let me apologize for going AWOL. My server was down and I had to move the blog to another server, which took a lot of time. Thank you all for the concerned mails. I haven’t had a chance to reply to all the mails yet.

And today’s post is about Porn.

As a child growing up in India, I was really clueless about pornography. A lot of my classmates ( guys) went to Madras for a Sam Fox show and one of them told me, he only went because she had big boobs.  To me that sounded scandalous.. Until then I thought boobs were for breast feeding. There was also a small photo in the forensic medicine dept depicting group sex. Which none of the girls wanted to see. It was all too scandalous.

Sometime ago, I received an email from a reader who was asking me for help because she couldn’t talk to anyone else and didn’t know how to deal with the issue. Her husband thinks it was manly to slap her face, pull her hair etc during sex because that is what they do in most of the pornographic films and women in porn films love that. Much as she tried to explain to her husband that she doesn’t like to be slapped or want her hair to be pulled, he doesn’t get it and is angry with her because he thinks she is a typical ‘country’ Indian woman. I didn’t have any advice to give her. But I did think of my children.. I am sure they watch porn and in all likelihood they must be thinking that is real.. I have been wanting to tell them that porn is not real. Then I read this article and I thought I would share it here.

Although the article linked below is addressed to a son. I don’t think there ought to be a gender divide. I think every parent ought to talk to their children ( boys and girls) about porn.

Here it is

 

Safalyam

Though I studied in Malayalam medium, my vocabulary has diminished a great deal over the year because I don’t talk to anyone in Malayalam. However, there are some words that I can never forget.  Today’s word is safalyam. I don’t know the right word for it in English, but at the end of this post, I hope you will get it.

I grew up wanting a family where everyone loves and supports each other. Yet, here I am, 43 years old with a last will and testament that says if anything happens to me, my sisters shouldn’t be told about it and even if they came to know, they will not be allowed to attend my funeral. I walked away from my family and don’t want anything to do with any of my family members.

Yaya came back from Mexico day before yesterday with a severe jet lag and went to school yesterday morning without taking her gocard ( bus pass). They were already running late and she didn’t have enough time to come back home to get the gocard. Her brother gave her his gocard and told her, he will handle the bus driver’s wrath.

Although there is a policy that says “no child left behind”, that allows children without money/bus pass to travel on public transport without paying, the drivers are not very amenable to follow the law. It is not because the drivers are mean, it is because a lot of kids are deliberately exploiting the loophole to travel free. My son got in to the bus and apologized to the driver for forgetting his gocard and was promptly yelled at. He listened to the yelling and when the bus driver finished his rant, my son was given a warning not to do it again and was allowed to travel.

He gave his gocard to his sister because he knows she can’t handle the bus driver yelling at her. To be loved like that by your sibling is the biggest blessing life can give you..I wasn’t lucky, but my children are..that is my life’s safalyam

Changes

Couple of weeks ago, my son came with me to shop at Costco. I need his help to push the trolley.

When we were at the till, the check out chick was literally flirting with my son.

It started out with my son telling her “ola” ( He finds it really interesting to say Ola, instead of Hello to cute girls)

“Oh, you speak Spanish?” She asked him. Turns out she is from Peru.

She commented on his beautiful long eye lashes, his beautiful smile and what a wonderful son he is to accompany his mom and helping her when she does grocery shopping.

What I really wanted to do was to bop her on her head. This is my 14 year old son we are talking about here. He is MY baby..mine..

All that she said was true. He does have beautiful long eye lashes, he does have a beautiful smile and he always help me when I need help.

But, but, but.. so many buts were rolling out of my brain..

You see, we reached that cross road..me having to let him go.

I thought letting Yaya go was tough.. it turns out letting your son go is even more harder..

Say ” I love you”

This happened while Yaya and I were in India. We were waiting for my friend to fetch us  at the jewellery shop where Yaya had her nose pierced.

Yaya has zero pain tolerance and every time the guy came with the piercing gun she shrieked and jumped off the chair. Soon we amassed a decent amount of spectators. Eventually she calmed down ( after a lot of prep talk from your truly) and got the job done. As she had an episode of syncope ( fainting spell), I didn’t want her to get up right away. So I asked the shop attendant “is it ok, if we waited in the shop till my friend arrives?” And she said “ok”

Afs we were waiting, Yaya looked at me and said ” I love you Mom, thank you for being the best”

One of the spectator was a woman of my age and I noticed her looking at me with surprise when Yaya told me I love you. She then asked me “How do you get your daughter to say I love you?”

I told her ” it is very simple, I tell them I love you few times a day. Every morning before they leave for school, I tell them  Have a super day at school and I love you,  Every phone call ends with I love you. Every goodnight ends with I love you.

A ( mallu) friend who was born and raised in UK once told me that he asked his father ” Why you never once told me “I love you” like my friends parents?” And his father replied ” Our love is in our hearts, you can’t show what is in our heart” He told me that he grew up thinking his parents never loved him.

It really is not hard to say I love you to your children. Say I love you, because they need to hear it, not just feel it.

Cooking

My children have school holidays and have been spending a lot of time at my friend K’s house. ( the one who took 10 years to finish medicine). Each evening when I pick them up, I ask “So what did you have for lunch?”

Before I proceed, I must tell you that I always felt that children must eat  three proper meals ( breakfast, lunch and dinner) and spend a considerable amount of my  time and money to follow that notion.

Most of the days, my kids had a smoothie for lunch( which they made by themselves), occasionally a snag on a slice of bread or a salad. Kids swim in the pool, go to the park and play soccer etc and when they are hungry, they go to the kitchen and make themselves a smoothie and they are all happy. My friend took time off from work  and caught up on  her reading:) instead of slogging in the kitchen. This was something I could never do. I would feel guilty if I had not cooked a proper lunch/dinner.

Perhaps, I got it all wrong. I was sweating for the small stuff.

Darn

Sometimes you learn how much better your children are compared to you

Like me, my children love music. Yaya has been collecting music from grade 4. She now has few thousand songs on her external hard drive. Most of the songs are from Library CD’s that she borrows and copies. Her brother being the lazy person wants to borrow Yaya’s external hard drive and copy the songs instead of going to the library and go through all those hassles. Yaya has been adamant that it is her collection, she worked hard to get them and is not willing to share it with her brother. I find that attitude appalling.

For me, it is just songs and there is no harm in sharing them. If we are going to demand proprietary rights to everything because we worked hard, then this world is going to be one tough place to live.

So, few days ago, while my son  and I were in Yaya’s room  ( we always play some pranks on Yaya  every time she goes on long trips, this time we decided to use post it notes to decorate her entire room) I noticed her external harddrive on her table.

I told my son

“You should download the songs, before your sister returns”

He shook his head and said “No Mom, That is not ethical, she told me she doesn’t want to share the music and I accept her decision, I don’t want to cheat her”

Moments like this are the most precious..

Furby

Yaya still has few stuffed animal from her childhood. One of which is a Furby.

It was about 6 months after we arrived in Vancouver, we were living in a 2 bedroom basement suite, I had no job and the money that I brought with me from Malaysia was fast disappearing and I had 4 more years to go through before I could get Canadian citizenship.

Prior to coming to Vancouver, my children never knew the word ‘suffering’. That is not the right word, but in this context it is. The clinic I used to do locum was in a shopping mall and there was a toys r us outlet inside. Every evening after work, I went to toys r us and bought new toys. Most evenings we went out for dinner and I remember taking my children to Midvalley mall in KL every Sunday because only they had a Barney ride on toy ( you pay a dollar and sit inside and the machine moves while singing a song !)

And moving to Vancouver and all of a sudden find ourselves with no money was a huge shock to my children and me.

And then my neighbour’s children got a Furby as a gift. They would come to my house with the Furby and play and every time my children asked if they could have a go, they wouldn’t let them. One night, Yaya came to me with her siblings and asked ” Mom, Can you please get us a Furby?” ( This is the same child who walked to school with wet shoes and didn’t tell me because she knew I couldn’t afford new shoes) I didn’t say “no, you can’t have one because we can’t afford” and I didn’t say yes either.

That night as I went to bed, I remembered the amount of toys, I have thrown away before we moved to Vancouver. I did wonder if my current state was  some sort of Karma returning the favor?

The next day, after school, children and I went to Canadian superstore. It was a long walk and  we went to the toys section. There on the shelf was the ugliest toy I have ever seen, Furby, grey colour body with humongous eyes. It was 37$. I explained to my children that I know how much they wanted to own one. But buying this means, we will have to reduce our grocery shopping. They nodded their head. After buying the Furby, I walked back home with three happy kids, who took turns to hold the Furby. I told them, they look like the three wise men holding the gold, frankincense and Myrr.

Neighbour’s kids stopped coming to my house with their Furby, the moment they saw that my kids too have a Furby. And my own kids stopped playing with the Furby, two days after we got it. And every chance I got, I sang “there goes my 37 dollars” in the tune of there goes my baby..and my kids knew why I was singing it. But after that, they never asked me for something because someone else had it. Because for one, they know I will sing ‘there goes my 37 $’ and I guess it is also because they know that I always came though solid when they needed me the most.