Orca costume is done
Poirot is almost done. Only the top hat needed to be made and I have forgotten to buy the black manila boards! So it can only be done tomorrow.
Now the witch’s costume.
I was initially thinking of making an A-line skirt and a shiny cape. Then I saw this and started to wonder why am I struggling so much..
Can anyone tell me what the 3rd comment on the right hand side means?
What does she mean cutting it diagonally from the “pit”?

First they wanted to be the three musketeers. or Perhaps Larry Mo and Curly especially when they can pull each other’s ears!
Then they felt that is not cool.
Then they wanted to be Little red riding hood, grandma and the wood cutter
But that still wasn’t cool.
Then one wanted to be a traffic light( with working lights of course!)
and the other two contemplated the merits of dressing up as
Constantine 1,
Joan of Arc
Sarah Palin( Goodness gracious!)
Al Gore( Why?)
and Finally they decided this morning

Yaya wants to be a “stylish” witch ( Catwalk model turned witch!)
Baby wants to be an Orca ( knowing her love for all things related to ocean, I should have guessed that)
and Toothless wants to be Hercule Poirot

They reminded me again at the school this morning that since this will be their last Halloween in North America they really want it to be perfect!

And I, the creator of all things spooky am off to the shop to find material and then going to haunt my seamstress friend..( patham class pareeksha kazhinjappol amma paranjatha Paikadas collegil poyi tailoring padikkan..Annu athu cheythirunnel innu sewing machine il noolu korkkanenkilum arinjeney.. Sho kashtam)

( Don’t even ask how I keep doing everything in the very last minute!)

So here is wishing all of you a spooktacular Halloween

and you can wish me good luck.

Ps: After reading Pancharakutti’s comment, I had an Archimedes moment, a brain wave or whatever you call it..I would love to know what your kids are going to wear tomorrow.. Do tell

Athey, Why do people display the dead body for everyone to see?”
I had enough of my mother. I was already too upset with the fact that my sister went out with Arjun, though it was only a bike ride and my mother was still talking about dead body!
“I got it Amma, you don’t want to be cremated. Now can you leave me alone?” I screamed
“Huh?” “Why are you screaming at me? What did I do to you? oodichal lekkillenkil moothammakkirunnottey Alley?” Amma yelled at me
“Huh?” What was she talking? What oodichal lekkillenkil? I looked at her.
“You are angry because Liza went with your boyfriend”
“He is not my boyfriend and I am not angry. I am just annoyed with you because one minute you say you want to be cremated and the next minute you say you want to buried. Make up your mind will you?”
Ninakku muzhu vatta. (you are mad! 100%) All I said right now was about public display of dead bodies.”
Really? Was that what she was saying? Then why did I yell at her?
“What is wrong with displaying the dead body?” I asked
“There is nothing wrong. You don’t understand!”
“I don’t. Why don’t you tell me”
“Every time I think of Mercy Kochamma, I can see her body being kept in the living room of our house. I keep seeing her face with the nose stuffed with cotton” Amma pointed to her own nose, just in case I didn’t know what is a nose.
I was just about to ask who is Mercy Kochamma, then I remembered she was my mother’s favourite aunt who died many many many years ago, even before my mother got married.
“She was so beautiful, I always think that if I had not seen her dead body, I would still be able to picture her as the beautiful person I had known instead of the horrible image of her dead body”
“Oh” I mumbled. I wasn’t really sure what my mother was trying to portray. But she did have a point. Didn’t she?
I looked at my mother. Why was she talking about death all the time? Does she have some premonition?
“So why do people display the dead body?” Amma saw me looking at her and asked.
“Don’t know ma, What I do know is, you are not going to die in the near future”
“Oh really. Why? Did you get a message from God?”
“I didn’t get any message, but I know he won’t take the most important person from my life any time soon”
“Most important! podi kalli! I know you like your father more than me”
“No I don’t” I lied. “I love you more ma” I spoke
Amma stared at me disbelievingly
“Really ma”
“Why?” She asked
“Because you gave birth to me, you took care of me, you wash my dirty clothes, don’t forget, you even wash my clean clothes that was folded and kept in the cupboard”
“No I don’t”
“Yes you do. Remember the last time you washed my top that I had kept in the cupboard”
“it was dirty”
“No it wasn’t. I tried it on and then decided not to wear it. I must have worn it for less than 10 seconds. There was no way it was dirty”
“Yeah right” Amma shook her head and walked back the kitchen. Losing an argument wasn’t something my mother would like.
“You are obsessed with washing clothes” I wasn’t going to give up when victory was this close.
“Complain complain complain. That is all you do. Doctor Madam, have you noticed that none of my children ever had any skin infection? All your cousins in kerala had I Rs size chori (Impetigo) None of you had any, Am I right?
“What has Chori got to do with clothes? Chori is a bacterial infection”
ninakkariyam THOPPI ! ( you know nothing) I pity your patients!”
Aiyyeda! How dare she tells me that I don’t know anything in Medicine? How dare she question my medical knowledge? I even passed dreaded anatomy in the first try! Aha!
“Amma, washing clothes and Chori have nothing to do with each other. You are obsessed with washing clothes. You probably are the only person on planet earth who would take the clothes out of the washing machine and manually rinse the clothes, because you don’t trust the machine to rinse well”
Kuttam kelkkan mathram oru janmam Entey thaley vara, allathenna ( A life time to hear complaints and complains. My Karma!)”
“See, you are now making me feel guilty. I didn’t kuttam parnajufy you(blame you). I was just telling you facts.”
“facts! mannakatti(My foot!) None of you are grateful. I raised you, lived with your abusive father, so you can have a life and all I get is complaints! I should have left you all with that mad man and had a life of my own. I was stupid to think that children are more important!” Amma started to cry and as each drop of tears rolled down her cheeks, the more miserable I felt.
What is wrong with me? Why do I make my mother cry? Wasn’t it true that she really suffered a lot living with my father?
“I am sorry ma” I got up and walked towards her and apologized
mindada ( Don’t talk). I wish I would just die”
“No Ma, please don’t talk like that” I pleaded while trying to hold her hand. Amma pushed my hands away and went to her room.
Sucker, you fell for her charms again’ Sensible one started to sing.
‘No I didn’t’ I denied vehemently.

“Chechy wake up, Arjun is here” Liza shook my leg.
I must have slept off while reading the book.
But something didn’t make sense. i understood Arjun has come to see me. But that was not the issue.
Liza, my younger sister called me Chechy?
How could that happen?
I sat up quickly and adjusted my skirt and looked at Arjun. He was standing by the door.
“Arjun Bhaiyya, come and have a seat. Would you like to have some tea?” Liza asked.
“Your sister always complains that I wake up late and look at her. 12.30 in the afternoon and she is still sleeping” Arjun complained to Liza
“She is always sleeping. I think she even studies in her sleep” Liza responded
What nonsense. I never sleep so much, In fact I was up early in the morning. I just slept off probably half an hour ago. I looked at the book in my hand. Stupid book. If it was an interesting book, I wouldn’t have slept off.
Bhaiyya, Do you like Masala tea?”
“Sure” Arjun replied.
I looked at the two of them, somehow I wasn’t happy the way things were going.
“I will make the tea” I got up and told Liza
“No Nina, let me. You always make the tea. I will make the tea today, What do you say Arjun bhaiyya? Would you like to try my tea?” My sister crooned.
Arjun smiled and nodded his head.
The idiot was smiling. How dare he.

I hoped the milk will curdle.
I went back and sat down on my bed. Arjun sat right across me on the chair.
“So how are you?” Arjun asked
“Fine” I snapped.
How dare he ask me how am I after he kissed me and turned my whole world upside down?
“Where is your mom?”
How was I to know. The last time I saw her, she was sitting on my bed and stitching.
“She went down stairs. Our land lady wants to learn how to do cross stitch. So Amma is teaching her” My sister came out of the kitchen to inform Arjun of my mother’s whereabouts.
“What is your plan for the day?” Arjun asked
“Nothing much” I answered
I watched Liza going to Amma’s room. I wondered what she was up to. I didn’t have to woder too long. My sister came out with a cup and saucer from Amma’s tea set.
My mother has been saving that set to use it for the right occasion since I was 7 years old.
“Why are you using that cup and saucer?” I asked Liza
Doesn’t she know Amm would freak out when she finds out that we used her precious tea set?
“What is wrong?” Liza looked at me
I didn’t want to create a scene, so I followed her to the kitchen and whispered
“Amma would freak out and you know that”
Oh pinney ! It is time we used the stuff we have Nina.”
“You can take her screaming. I am not going to get involved”
I watched my sister pouring the tea gently in to the cup. I hoped she would spill.
“Move” She spoke
I moved to the side and my sister carried the cup and walked to the living room.
“Here Arjun bhaiyya, Try my masala tea”
Arjun took the cup and saucer from her hand.
He smiled and said “Thank you”
I hoped he would spill the hot tea on his legs and get burned or, at least he would take sip of the hot tea burn his mouth.
Arjun sniffed the tea and spoke
“Smells good”
All tea smell good you nimwit, I spoke in my mind.
He held the cup high and blew gently in to it as though he was a tea connoisseur!
He just had to drink the damn tea nah? Why all the new style? What does he think, that he is RajaniKanth?
Stupid Idiot!
Arjun took a small sip and closed his eyes as though that one small sip was his ticket to heaven!
“Excellent tea” He opened his eyes and spoke
“Thank you, thank you, thank you” My sister did a magnificent curtsey

I was no longer sure who I hated the most.

A few minutes later I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and it must be Amma.
I waited anxiously for Amma. I couldn’t wait to see her reaction when she sees her precious cup and saucer in Arjun’s hand. I knew I would say, “I told her not to use those cups and saucers Ma, she didn’t listen to me”
Amma stood near the door and saw Arjun. I saw her looking at the cup in his hand.
I waited with bated breath for all hell to break loose.
“hello Arjun” Amma spoke
“Hello Aunty”
“You don’t celebrate Vinayak Chathurthi?” Amma asked
“We do. Later this evening we will be going to the lake near home to immerse the Ganesa”
“You celebrate Vinayaka Chathurthi? Where is my sweets?” Liza howled
Knock off your drama you idiot. Why should he give you sweets? He is my classmate for heaven’s sake. I stared at my sister hoping she would get the message.
“I am sorry, I forgot to bring. I will send some through your sister” Arjun spoke.
Enikku verey thozhil onnum illey? Don’t I have anything else to do? I wondered.
“Hey, do you want to go out for a movie?” Arjun asked
“I can’t Arjun. Anitha said she is coming to visit me today”
“Oh” Arjun mumbled
“What about tomorrow?” Arjun asked
“Sure” I replied
“Ok, I will see you tomorrow. Thanks for the tea Liza”
“You are welcome” My sister was smiling from ear to ear.
“Arjun bhaiyya” She called as Arjun was about to leave.
“yeah” He turned to look at her
“Are you going back to Jayanagar?”
“Can you give me a ride? I have to visit a friend of mine. She stays near 5 th cross”
“Give me a few sec. I will get ready”
Liza ran to her room to change.
Amma was looking at me as though she wanted to see my reaction. I didn’t want my mother to know how upset I was. When it came to my heart, Amma was the last person who would see me crumble.
Liza came out wearing a beautiful top. The one I got for her from Dubai, the one she would never let me wear.
“Bye Nina” Arjun spoke
“Bye Chechy” Liza spoke
I watched my sister getting on the bike and sitting behind Arjun.
I walked back inside the house, took the stupid boring book and lay down on the bed to read.
I watched Amma taking the cup from the corner table to the sink to wash. She didn’t appear to mind that we used her precious tea set.
But that didn’t matter
What mattered was, I was upset because my sister went out with my classmate, whom I don’t love, yet I was jealous.
Plain simple jealousy.

Amma was sitting on my bed and doing the cross stitch. Her legs were in my way as I tried to sweep the living room
“Move your leg” I ordered.
I hated house work and if Anitha hadn’t decided to visit me, I could be reading something interesting instead of sweeping the floor.
Amma looked at me and then she called
“Lizaye, where are you?”
“In my room ma” She answered.
kunjey Can you look outside, you might find crows flying upside down”
Liza came out of the room quickly to see what is going on and she too noticed the broom in my hand.
“Do you need medicine Nina?” Liza asked
“For what?” I snapped
“Fever?” Liza started to laugh.
I got the drift. She was suggesting that I probably have high fever and in my delirious state started to sweep the floor.
“I don’t have fever. Anitha is coming for a visit”
“Who is Anitha?” Liza asked
nintey ammayiappantey marumolu” I snapped. Idiot had stayed in my hostel and doesn’t know who Anitha is.
“Oh that Anitha. Good luck with your cleaning” My sister went back to her room.
Amma lifted her leg, so I could sweep.
“You didn’t sweep under the mattress” Amma spoke.
“She won’t look under the mattress”
Aiyyedi, When do a job, do it properly. I will lift the mattress, you sweep.”
Amma got up and pushed the mattress and held it against the wall and I did a quick sweep.
“You didn’t sweep there” Amma pointed to the corner
“I did”
“No you didn’t”
“This is child labour Amma, you can get arrested!” I mumbled
“Child labour oh! When did you become a child? I thought you told me were old enough make your own decisions few years ago. even Rajiv Gandhi thought so Right? Isn’t that why he lowered the age to vote?”
I should have learned long ago that my mother has a memory of an elephant. Since I was the dumb nut who told her that I was old enough to vote few years ago, there was no point trying to corner my mother with the child labour act.
entha inakku vizhingiyo? (swallowed your tongue?)”
I didn’t reply. I continued with the sweeping and was glad when it was over. I took the book out of my bag and was about to ask Amma to get up from my bed, so I can lie down and read.
“Not mopping the floor?” Amma asked
“Mop?” I stared at her
“Ha, mop! you know the mop we use to clean the floor. ninakku athum arinjoodey( you don’t even know that)”
“I am not mopping the floor. I have better things to do in my life”
“True, go on, read your book.” Amma spoke nonchalantly and continued to stitch. I looked at the floor. The mosaic looked so dull, unlike Arjun’s house where the floor always sparkled.
I put the book back in my bag and went to the toilet to get the bucket and mop. When I came out Amma was looking at me.
I knew she manipulated me yet again.
I kicked the bucket every time I needed to move it instead of gently lifting it.
“Just like your father. oodicha lekkillenkil moothamma kkirunnottey”
I knew what Amma was saying. My father always took his frustrations out on others. Was I really like Appa? Am I going to turn out like him? That was a scary thought.
I stopped kicking the bucket around.
From the way Amma looked at me, I knew she won yet again.
I won’t do anything more. I promised myself. I won’t let Amma manipulate me any more.
I kept the bucket back in the toilet. I didn’t throw the dirty water out, or rinse the mop. Amma can do that herself. I thought.
I took the book out of my bag, adjusted the pillow and lay down on my bed.
Amma continued to stitch.
After a while Amma shook my leg and asked
athey, Orthodox Christians don’t cremate the dead, do they?”
I remembered what Liza told me earlier and I knew very well where this conversation was heading.
“Which Orthodox Christian are you talking about?”
oh pinney, As though you don’t know. I was thinking about me”
“Oh! But you are not Orthodox Christian Amma. You are Anglican”
“Who said. My husband is an Orthodox Christian and I got married in a Jacobite church, So I am an orthodox Christian”
Aiyyeda I thought
“Amma, if you tie a donkey in a stable. would the donkey become a horse?”
I am sure Amma understood what I was saying. But losing an argument wasn’t one of her forte. So she rattled
nee enney kazhutha akki alley! You think I am a donkey?”
I didn’t technically mind her thinking that I think she is an ignoramus. She was. She had to know it and stop manipulating me.

I am sorry

I know I haven’t done much blogging this week. I apologize.

But I do need a favour.
Does anyone know a trekking route from Sikkim to Namche Bazar? Nepal borders Sikkim so there has to be trekking routes.
I just can’t seem to find any information. Every time I use google I end up going through pages after pages of companies that deal with tourism in Sikkim , Nepal and Bhutan.
Has any of you trekked from Sikkim to Nepal( or know anyone who has done it?)

Here is wishing all of you a jolly good week end
Take care
Best of the best

I just don’t get it.
What exactly did I learn when I was at school?
Why was I made to memorize countless English, Malayalam and Hindi poems and regurgitate it on the answer sheet and forget it once for all?
Why was so much importance given to Malayalam grammar rules( ?Vrutham) that I have never ever used once in my life?
I am not belittling my education.. but I wish more energy was spend on giving me knowledge instead of making me a memory bank!..

I had to search all over the Internet to find out about what happens to the salt once the sea starts to freeze.. And here is the answer.

No words to describe how inadequate I feel right now.

The four people I hate the most.

There are no words I can use that would describe how much I hate these four people.
They have been around me since my birth.
Watching every step I take hoping I would stumble.

Before I took each decision I had to think how these four people would react.
I wanted to be able to scream and shout this is my life and I will live the way I want to.
But still the four people mattered. They are integral part of my life.
I couldn’t just shake them off.

Yesterday as I was waiting for my daughter to come out of the OT, I noticed all the Doctors and the medical students. I watched them talking and discussing,
Not too long ago I too was one of them.
I too was a doctor. I thrived on Adrenaline rush..

Someone I love dearly had taught me that having choices doesn’t equate freedom. Making decisions sets you free.
I made the decision to stay at home and raise my kids.

But it hurts each time I walk in to a hospital.In those moments the four most hated people lifts their ugly head.
In front of them it is essential that I should say nothing about my own feelings. I can’t show them that I actually miss being a doctor. If I did then these four people will point their fingers and shout ‘LOSER’.

But I am not running away from my own feelings.
So here it is to all the four people.( nalu peeru!)
I miss my work
I miss my life.
And right now I wish I could say it was all worth.

Deep in my heart I know it was worth every bit..But then again.. I am allowed to feel like this once in a while? Don’t I?

Oh Forgot, I was supposed to find the answers to these questions

Does anyone know how high a Helium balloon can go? Does it reach stratosphere?
And what happens to the salt in the sea water when the sea freezes( Arctic ocean to be precise)

Yaya had a minor elective surgery today.

She is doing well.

I don’t think I cope well when kids are sick.
I want to be able to take their pain away and I know I can’t.
I feel so miserable.

Pole Hugging grandma!

I am sure the title of this blog is a bit puzzling..But I am sure as you read the rest of the post you will see her just as I do each day.

She is an Indo Canadian lady in her late 60’s, short and chubby. Always impeccably dressed. She even has sweaters that matches her salwars.
She is a total contrast to me as I wear faded hoodies and dresses that has never seen the whatchamacall iron!

But we do have one thing in common. She and I walk everyday up and down the hill to drop and fetch kids from school, be it rain or snow.
She lives 2 blocks south of my place and all of last year she walked with me. She speaks to me in Punjabi and because of her slang I understand 1/3 of what she is saying and she probably don’t understand any of my Hindi( which lately sound a lot like Malay) But we still talk.

I noticed the beginning of this school year that she has a new friend to walk along with her.
I didn’t like her friend.
There were many reasons why I didn’t like her friend. First being that her friend changed her independence. Her friend also made her walk slow.
Last year she could match up my speed and we used to reach the school together. But this year often I had to walk ahead of her because I hate to walk slow!
2 days ago I walked up ahead of her, dropped the kids to their respective classes and walked back home and found her still standing in the middle of the way holding her grand daughter’s hand and her friend in the other hand. I noticed how breathless she is.( I think she is probably having Congestive Cardiac Failure)
I offered to take her grand daughter to school because I knew there was no way this lady could walk up the hill. She was shivering and breathless.
But the grand daughter wanted only her grandma to drop her to school.
Together they walked up the hill. Every 200 feet she would stop by the street light pole and hold the pole to steady herself.
Later that day I offered to pick up the her grand daughter from school.
She looked at me with sadness in her eyes and said She can’t let me. Because her son wants only her to drop and fetch his daughter from school. He brought her all the way from Punjab so she could help take care of his daughter.He even bought her a friend to walk with her ..
A beautifully carved walking stick.

Each day she walks up the hill hugging the street light poles.

People like her are the ones who has no rights because there are children who keep expecting their parents to provide. After all who can deny the fact that grand parents really love to be with their grand children. Loving the grand children also means dropping them to school and other such free child minding services. Right?

not in a mood to blog.. Will update on Monday!