Jealousy

I know jealousness is human nature, but sometimes it is really too much if it involves children.

A friend of mine who is an IB teacher has a daughter of the same age as Yaya. Sometime ago, we were talking about the extended essay (EE) IB students have to write and she accidentally mentioned she has copies of the student EE papers from her school. So I asked her if she would let me have a look at them. She found an excuse each time and I got the message loud and clear.. that she really doesn’t want to give it to me for fear of Yaya getting more marks than her daughter.

Yesterday two of my very good friends had the worst argument one could ever witness. It was all to do with their daughters applying to US universities.

Friend 1 is a Harvard graduate and is an American living in Australia.

Friend 2 is an ordinary single mom whose daughter suddenly decided that she will also sit for the SAT and apply to US unis.

Friend 2’s daughter scored more marks for SAT than friend 1 and things went down hill. Friend 1 doesn’t want friend 2’s daughter to apply in certain unis, cause her daughter is applying to those unis and her chance of getting the admission will go down if two students from the same school apply and one has better SAT score.

We have all been friend for more than 5 years and meet each other for dinner every month. But all of a sudden, when our daughters are getting ready to apply for Uni admissions, you notice how bitchy everyone really is.

In life there will always be a student who is better than your child, just as there will always be a student not as good in studies like your child. Would it be so hard to accept someone doing better than your child? Is there a need for jealousy?

Sigh

echo beachSource: http://www.weekendnotes.com/images/cimg366111.JPG

Yesterday I wanted to go to my favourite beach. Tide was in around 3 pm, so I thought I would leave Brisbane by 2 and get to the beach in time for the high tide. Yaya’s exams were delayed and by the time I left Brisbane it was already past 3.30 and then I got stuck in peak traffic. I reached the beach around 5pm and I found that the track that I normally use for hiking is closed. So I decided to hop/walk on the rocks to get to where I wanted to go.. ( you can see the rocks in the photo above)

I am very safety conscious ( at least that is what I thought) and even planned my escape route if the tide gets unnaturally high. There were few paddleboaders in the water, returning to the shore and I waved hi to them and continued with my rock climbing, I was bare foot, carrying my back pack that contained my beach towel, book and a bottle of water. I was really enjoying the walk, it was really beautiful, very quiet and tranquil and I felt so much at peace. Then I heard a familiar rustling sound and where I was about to step on was a snake. Ideally I should say, I am Methran Thambi’s grand daughter and am fearless. But I was frozen, I wanted to run screaming, but I was still standing on top of a rock and I still needed to walk back all the way back to escape. Eventually, the snake went away. But the problem was when you see one snake, you imagine a snake hiding beneath every rock, every leaf moving was a snake..and it was really traumatising..I just couldn’t walk back all the way climbing on the rocks. I finally found a track that let me get back to the trail that was closed.

I had left my phone in the car, there was not another human anywhere near me and if I was bitten by the snake, I wouldn’t have made it alive.

As far as my stupidity goes, this should top my list.

Changes!

I never thought there would be a day where I would drink double shot espresso without sugar.

And they say never say never.

I have always been a tea drinker and my kids buy me my favourite Kusmi tea ( Prince Vladimir) every year for my birthday. I am also very lazy to make my own tea and usually steals from whoever is having a drink. Unfortunately for me, my partner likes to drink strong black coffee and between the choice of getting up and making myself a cuppa or stealing his, I chose the latter..

First few times, I thought I would puke. The coffee was so bitter.. but now I am so used to it and actually like it.

Last year my neighbour had invited me for tea and then apologized that she didn’t have any sugar at home because they never used sugar for anything. Weirdos, I thought to myself. I have not had anything with sugar since I came back from my holidays.. Who is now the weirdo?

Sigh

Time

That feeling is back again..

I want to leave Australia and go to a new country.

Because I took 5 subjects this semester, I only need to do three more subjects to get my degree and two of those, I could do as intensive course next month and third one, I could do as an external student.

Today morning the first thing I did was to look at the world map..since I only have Africa and S.America to complete my live in all the continents dream, I looked at both continents. I am leaning on S. America. Probably start with Costa Rica( Central America),learn Spanish and then head down to south America for few years.

I know I am crazy..but I can’t stop this feeling that really makes me want to get out of all things familiar and build a life from scratch.

Finally

Monday nights are usually movie nights for me. Yesterday I was meant to watch Bridge of spies with my partner  and I think he got his periods yesterday! ( I swear, men get periods too). He was so crabby yesterday that we decided to cancel the movie night.

Just because he didn’t want to go for the movie, doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t, so I checked the movie guide to see if there is any movie, I could watch on my own. (I felt his periods should be over by next Monday and we could still watch Bridge of spies together) I noticed that my local theatre is showing Amar Akbar Anthony. I couldn’t believe they were showing Bachchan’s movie in Brisbane. I haven’t watched a Hindi movie for ages, so I thought I might as well go and watch the movie. Yaya has exams going on and my son was speaking to his gf on Skype, so I asked Baby, if she would come with me to watch an Indian movie.

“Mom, I won’t understand a thing” she said

“That is fine, you can sleep if you want to, and  I will buy ice cream for you after the movie”

“Fine” she said and packed her colouring book and pencils to take along.

The other reason we watch movies on Monday night is that I get student discount and the ticket only costs 5$. I was shocked when the movie attendant told me the price for 2 tickets , 32$. Bloody hell !

As Baby and I walked up to the cinema hall, I noticed a lot of Mallus around and I was expecting Punjabi/Hindi crowd.

Something really wasn’t right.

And then the ads started.. Mallus speaking English in Mallu accent..Even a simple street name like Annerley road was butchered beautifully.

It occurred to me that the last time I actually watched a Malayalam movie in the theatre was when I was doing pre-degree. That is a loooooong time ago !

When the movie started Baby asked ” Mom, what language are they speaking?”

“Malayalam” I replied

“Isn’t that your language?” She asked

“Yup, yours too?” I replied

“Nope, Mom, I am a Canadian, I am not whatever you are”

I didn’t have any response.. after all, you reap what you sow.

Fortunately, movie had English subtitles and whoever has done it, has done a decent job and I noticed that Baby kept her colouring book aside and was actually watching the movie.

I loved the theme song..apart from that I didn’t find  anything remarkable. But Baby watched her first Malayalam movie..

What really bothered me was that a lot of people brought little kids along to watch the movie. It is time Indian movies started classifying movies according to the age. There was too much violence in the movie and I found it really disturbing that little kids are exposed to so much violence.

Hmm

Yaya’s final exams will start tomorrow and she is currently on  SWOTVAC ( Aussie equivalent of study hols)

She started a new job last week and went for on the job training most of the days. She attended a Halloween party at her friend’s house on Saturday and had a sleepover. I see her sitting down in her room and revise every now and then.

I don’t know if it was the way we study in India, or if it is because I am a student who believe in the  very last second panic studying. Few days before my exams, I am usually so stressed and will be biting every bit of my nails and wouldn’t even eat anything for fear of wasting time. My child on the other hand baked a cake last night, filled her uni application forms etc. I am terrified every time I see Yaya not studying. I am tempted to tell her ‘don’t waste time, keep revising’

But then I tell myself, I haven’t told her to study until now and she did well and I am sure she knows what she is doing.

Honestly, her style of studying terrifies me.

 

Sisterhood !

This happened sometime ago and I can’t remember if I wrote about it or not.

As a full time Uni student, I suddenly found I need a new bookshelf and bought one without thinking where I was going to keep it. I like my bedroom sparsely furnished and I hate clutter. So, I ended up keeping the bookshelf in the closet..it is an ideal place, if only I could remember that the walk in wardrobe has now become squeeze in wardrobe..I often end up bumping my arm on the corner of the book shelf. Along the same time, my friend bought a new dining table at his place and I bumped my thigh in the corner of that as well. (I misjudged the height)

And then I went to do grocery shopping wearing a singlet and shorts.

The lady standing in front of me at the checkout kept looking at me funnily.

Perhaps this was the first time she was a scantily clad Indian woman.. I thought to myself.

As I walked out of the shop, I noticed that the same lady was standing outside and when our eyes met, she said

“Excuse me”

“Yes?” I asked her

“I am so sorry to bother you, but I noticed the blue black marks on your body and wanted to tell you that, you don’t have to take this, there are laws in this country that can protect you”

It took me a few seconds to get what she was trying to tell me. She thought I was a victim of domestic violence.

I explained to her that I will never ever tolerate abuse of any form and that the blue black markings on my body was my own making.

It felt so good.. that people care.. even when they are strangers..

Perceptive

I was home the first week of  my children’s school holidays and on the first day of holidays, my son came to my room to give me a kiss before he went out. He always gives me a kiss before going out.

“Where are you off to?” I asked

“Going out for a movie with friends” He replied

“have fun” I told him.

Few days later, the same scenario repeated again

He came to my room, gave me a kiss and I  asked him

“Who is the girl?”

He looked at me for a few seconds and then asked me

“How do you know there is a girl?”

“Darling, it is pretty obvious, last time you went out for the movie, you wore shorts and t-shirt, today you ironed your shirt, wore matching shorts and have generously dabbed yourself with Davidoff( more like dunking himself in perfume)”

“Mom, you are so perceptive” he replied while grinning.. because there is a girl 🙂

I think one of the most important skills a mother ought to have is perception. My kids are not going to update me about every details of their personal life. They don’t have to. But that doesn’t mean that I ought to be clueless.

Old age

Last weekend, I helped my elderly neighbours to put their house on the market (my job involved emotionally supporting them as they are devastated)

Their house is one of the most beautiful houses in my street, every brick in that house was installed with care and thought and they spent a substantial amount of money to make it a dream home. This was their dream home and this is where they wanted to die. Sadly, they are unable to live in their own home due to failing health and must move in to a retirement home.

They had hoped to travel around the world after they retired. They managed to go for two cruises since they retired and now they are not physically able.

They spent so much of their income making their home beautiful and now when they sell it, they are going to lose the pension they are entitled to as most of the government financial aid is tied to your income. ( they will get close to a million when they sell their house and will have to say goodbye to old age pension from the government)

I looked at my own financial position.. I think I am doing ok. I travel and see all the places I want to see and am not keeping those dreams for when I retire. I refuse to spend a great deal of money on my house and then when I am forced to sell it, lose my pension. I also send under 10K ( max amount I can send overseas without declaring it to the taxman) to my foreign account every year, so when I retire my savings are not in Australia and my pension won’t be affected..