Stuck between so many worlds.

I am stuck between so many worlds.
I am a Malayalee, yet I think that is only true in the ethnicity part of who I am.
I own a Kerala saree, like to eat kanji and payaru. speak the language, celebrate onam and vishu.
I stay away from other malayalees.

My children do not identify themselves as Malayalees at all. I never encouraged them either. I thought it was better that I raise them as a citizen of the world

I do not think of myself as a Malayalee beyond my ethnicity.
That in essential is the problem I face now.

I am constantly struggling with the values my mother used as a yard stick to raise us to the values I think is ideal for my children.

Amma would have had a heart attack if I had told her about my first crush when I was 7 years old. ( He and I had even decided who we were going to invite for our wedding! and we even finalized the menu for our wedding lunch. He liked fried fish and I liked mooru).

For me, I have no issues with my children having a crush . I have been there and know the feeling.

Yaya has been in and out of crush for the last few years.
Toothless has a crush on a girl in Canada and crush on a girl here.
Baby has a crush on a guy who is in grade 7 ( Yaya’s classmate!)

But would I let my Children go out with their boyfriend/girlfriend to the mall?
Of course I will be branded old fashioned just like ‘Ammachi’, when that happens.

Girls in Yaya’s class are already going out with their boyfriends to the movies etc.
I guess their mothers have no problems with it.
But I do.
I don’t know.

Sex and the kids

Gosh I am going crazy..
It all started with a book my son wanted and I refused by saying the magic word “later’, hoping he would eventually forget.
He didn’t and we couldn’t find the book in the shop again.
Of course he never forgave me.
We went for another book sale a week ago and he found this incredibile book ( his words) that he really really must have.
I tried the ‘later’ magic and he looked at me incredulously.
The look that clearly said “Have you forgotten what happened the last time you said ‘later’??
I took the book from his hand and had a quick glance.
Title was” 211 things a bright boy can do” by Tom Cutler.
It had articles about using the wrist watch as a compass etc and I bought it for him.
He was reading the book in the car on the way back home and never put it down for a minute even after coming home.
I was curious.
it is not like my son to read a book non stop.
I wondered what is so interesting.
I waited for him to go to school the next day, so I could read it.
He took the book to school.
It took 4 days before I could get my hands on it.
There was articles about how to tell when a girl likes you and I loved the part where it tells you how to mow the perfect lawn… till I reached the part that said How to judge a woman’s bra size at a glance!
I was upset, so very upset.
I am not some Jehovah witness follower where things such as a boy finding a woman’s breast size should offend me.
I am a well educated woman.
And the best part is, I don’t even know why I am upset.
The mother in me knows children will grow in to adults and sex is nothing but part of life… but this journey..morphing of children to adults is not as easy as I thought all these while.

The name !

First of all Thank you all for helping me answer question 13 on the previous post.

I am trying to find as many online tests for Yaya as I can.

I don’t know the names of the assessment tests for most states. So far I found the

California Skills Assessment
Ohio state tests
TAKS ( Texas Assessment of knowledge and skills)
PASS( Priority academic student skills Oklahoma)
ISAT ( Illinois standards Achievement test)

Do you know any other assessment tests?

Too Old

Really.. too old..
I stopped learning maths when I was 15. In fact on March 14( or the day after/before) 1986, the day I wrote my SSLC maths exam, I promised myself never again will I force myself learn which train reached the station faster! or anything similar to that.
After all I figured, as long as the train reached the station I never had to worry about it.

Here I am, at the ripe old age of 39, getting up at the ungodly hours of morning and trying to figure out maths work problems.

My daughter is writing the scholarship test and wants me to help her.

I thought helping her meant downloading few sample papers from google and handing it over to her.
Well, apparently it doesn’t work that way.
So now I get up early, read the questions a million times, so I can understand what information was given, drink a million cup of coffee and hoping that caffeine would help me figure out what i am supposed to find, cursing anyone and everyone when I can’t.

Being the stubborn person that i am, I don’t give up and that is the problem.
( I wish i studied in English medium, because most of the maths terminologies makes no sense to me)
Can anyone help me to answer the question number 13 on this test. I just can’t figure it out.

FREE !!!


I don’t know what is it with the Malayalee that a four letter word can instantly catch his or her attention.
We ( my mother and 4 daughters) have been under the ‘free’ spell as long as I can remember. I remember being asked to run ( Specific orders.don’t walk, run – lest our neighbour beat me to the store and bought the last one) to the local grocery to buy brookebond coffee because they were giving a free sewing kit along with the coffee.
The sewing kit in this case was a tiny plastic pouch with 2 white buttons, one snap button and a needle, and Amma had that sewing kit, still in its original cover till I left India in 1994!

Over the years I tried explaining to my wonderful mother that no company is magnanimous enough to offer you something free, there by depleting their profit. Instead you are increasing their profit by falling for a wonderful marketing strategy.
No luck. None at all. Amma is tuned to the word Free and can spot it even from mars.
Took her to the shopping mall few days ago and I saw my mother rushing to a phone shop to grab a flier. She came out grinning and waving the flier happily as though she won the lotto.

money (not money, mallu endearing term money) See what I found. She waved the flier in front of my face.
“It is Free” She jumped up and down as though India won the Cricket match.
I took the flier from her hand to see what she is talking about.
New phone plan with “Free” Twitter.


Nah, I am not in to espionage.

My son will be 10 end of this month and I have to organize a surprise birthday party.
As usual my main concern is the cost.
As much fun for as little money = one happy child + one happy mama.
So I decided to have a Spy themed party.
So far I haven’t got any ideas as to how to host such a party.
Have you ever hosted a spy themed party? Any ideas?

The odds

I was a Malaysian in Canada 5 years ago, now I am a Canadian in Australia!!!

Years ago while watching the lonely planet Globe Trekker on telly, in one episode Ian Wright opens his passport after passing though some border control and getting his passport chopped, says ‘lovely stamps, passport full of stamps”.
I could identify with him, because i was just as crazy for travelling.

I was thinking of living in Australia for a year, then probably head to Venezuela (to see Angel fall) for a few months and then to Botswana 9Ever since watching Gods must be crazy in mid 80’s, I have been wanting to see the Okavango delta) for a few months then head back to Canada, just in time for Yaya to start grade 8 in an IB school..

I had it all planned.
Now I have my mother to worry about. She is becoming more frail as the days go by. She won’t survive the Canadian winter, besides it will take at least a decade to get her sponsorship to get through bureaucratic red tape in Canada.
The selfish part of me regularly regrets making the move to Australia. If I hadn’t come, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in all the family squabbles regarding division of responsibilities. The sensible part of me knows for sure that everything happens for a reason.
But still…..

Sumeet Blender

I can’t find the instruction manual.
Can someone tell me which blade is used for what?
I want to make uzhunnu vada for tea, but can’t remember which blade is used to grind something without using too much water.


As many of you know, My mother loves plants. She has stolen plants from the Orchid Garden in KL, from Lalbagh in Bangalore, from the flower show in Kottayam and from all the houses she visited in between.

I visit my cousin every Thursday. My cousin is an ardent gardener. In the tiny patch behind her house, she grows every vegetable known to mankind including ethakka kappa. This morning as usual I drove to my cousin’s house and took Amma with me. We had lunch and when we were leaving my cousin gave me few sprigs of Curry leaves and some green chillies in a plastic bag for me to take home.
Just as we were leaving Amma found this plant that has flowers growing on the leaf and asked my cousin if we could have a small cutting. My cousin went inside to get the knife and in an instant Amma broke couple of Geraniums that were growing in another pot and put them in the curry leaves plastic bag.
The thing is I already have geraniums. Also if Amma had asked, my cousin would have gladly given her a cutting.
I wish Amma didn’t steal.
I feel bad for my cousin.
I feel terrible


In my chest of ‘Finally’ items I finally read “The education of Little tree”

I heard about the book in 1994 when Oprah pulled it off her book shelf. I really wanted to read it, but couldn’t bring myself to read a book written by a former KKK leader.

I was given a box of book the other day and saw “the education of little tree’ among them.
I went through should I or should I not for a few days and decided to give it go yesterday.
( I convinced myself that since I didn’t pay for the books, I am not supporting a racist author (though dead) in any way.)

I loved the story, beautifully written.

Will ye walk always with me, Willow John? Not far;
A year or two, at ending of your time.
We’ll not talk, Nor tell the bitter of the years.
May be laugh, Occasional; or a find a cause for tears;
Or something lost, could be, we both might find.
(Asa Carter. the Education of little tree)