In Singapore !!!!

Having the best time of my life…

Watched the first thunderstorm after 2 years and six months.. Remembered how Yaya and Toothless used to wear their rain coats and played in the rain..Now they sit next to me and watch the rain..
Loved the the beautiful tree lined roads..and realised how much I missed the rain forests of Malaysia.. and how boring the cedar and spruce pine trees are!

Haven’t cooked anything since leaving Vancouver..
There is a food court across the street from where I stay and Yaya has been having Chicken rice for lunch and dinner.. Toothless eats nothing but seafood for breakfast, lunch and dinner..
Baby likes to eat prawn mee.. and mama only wants to eat Dosai!!

Kids had their first Teh Tarikh( tea) and I ended up drinking 3 cups of teh tarikh ( too bitter for them!!)

Visited almost all the touristy places !!! When we were in KL we used to come down to Singapore very often..and never once bothered to visit the Bird park and Sentosa Island… So this time we finally made the effort to visit all the major attractions here..

Also met quiet a few Rude Singaporeans and learned it is better not ask for directions.. Most of them wouldn’t even wait to hear your query.. they simply shake their head and say don’t know lah!!!

Over all…. Singapore is still a nice country…but I am still a Malaysian!!!!

Almost ready to go..
Bought the tickets..
Got the visa..
Kids are excited..
and I am scared..

Travelling to India with three kids? I can almost hear Amma saying
avaldey thalaykku akathu olam adi aa( I think it means she has gone cuckoo!)
Then I read this.. Avoo.. ashwasam!!!

I am planning to pack my back pack tomorrow..any suggestion regarding things to take with me are welcome..

Sometime ago Gautham asked me if I consider myself to be an Indian or Malaysian( something to that effect) and I remember responding
“Always, always a Malaysian”.

I had often wondered why I feel that way when I spend half of my life in India and it made no sense to me that I am more attached to Malaysia.

I finally found the answer. It is not India that I hate..
It is the total helplessness I feel when it comes to me visiting India that I hate.
I have no home to go back to..
I have to rely on my cousins who most often are angry with my mother for a place to stay.

Whereas I have a home in Malaysia. I don’t have to depend on anyone when I want to go back. I can drive from Penang to Singapore and never have to worry about anything.

I spoke to my mother last week and told her that I am coming to India. Her first question was
“Where do you plan to stay?”
It was of course the most sensible question anyone could ask.
But I hated Amma for asking me that question. I expected her to help me find a place to stay.
I also felt If she played her cards well, I would never have been homeless. Her husband is the only son of my grandmother and we would have still had the Chengannur house..( I know how my father treated my mother..but still I can’t help feeling this way)
I also wanted her to say,
“Nina, that would be nice, I haven’t seen you or my grandchildren for so long”
Instead she asked me “when are you coming?”
I told her on the 29th and she told me that she is leaving on the 27th and has no intention to cancel her ticket.
It didn’t matter that her grandson’s birthday is on 30th.. It didn’t matter that she hasn’t seen her grandchildren for years, it didn’t matter that her grandchildren wants to see her..It didn’t matter that I am travelling with three kids and I have not been to Kerala for so long and have no clue where to look for things or places to stay.

For years I have tried to tell myself that I shouldn’t expect anything from anyone.. but sometimes I do.. and I know it only brings me more misery..

I don’t know where I am going to stay.. but this time I intend to show my kids Kerala..

Yaya wants to ride on an Elephant, visit the temples in Kerala and go to Delhi and visit Taj Mahal
Toothless wants to trek Kulu – Manali
Baby wants to do whatever chachan and chechy are doing.
Mama wants to show the kids all the places that she holds dear in her heart..

I am leaving for India end of this week and I should be back end of April.. I will update the blog in May..
If you guys see a crazy mama with three kids, do say hi..
See you all soon.


I want to go home

Home? You might ask which home?

Well technically it isn’t my home anymore.. It used to be my home at one time…I lived there when I was growing up, then I left and never once went back.

My aunt called me last evening to wish me happy birthday. I have not seen or spoken to her for 14 years, still she remembered my birthday and called me to wish me.
There is a wedding in the family, end of this month. Amma had told me about it and I told her I wasn’t going. I couldn’t imagine taking three kids to India( tickets alone would costs a fortune!)..

Then yesterday after I spoke to my aunt, there was an ache in the heart. I couldn’t sleep. I thought about all my cousins, my maternal grandmother(, my school, my college..travelling in the train..etc
How many times have I wished to go back home one last time..Just to visit all those places..
I kept postponing it.. When I had money, I had no time..I guess I always had one excuse or the other for not going back..
This time I want to go back home and see everyone and show my kids their great grandmother, my school, the church I used to attend etc..
How am I going to make 10000$ in three weeks?

New Day for Malaysia!!

Today Malaysians will wake up to a new day.

Winds of Change has finally reached our shore.

We did it.. We denied the 2/3 majority to the ruling party goons.

Samy Velu, the bane of every single Malaysian finally bid goodbye after holding the seat for 34 years. Mr Velu, I want you to remember, you are the reason why hundreds of Malaysian Indians languish as bonded labourers in estates, why our economic status remain unchanged despite the fact that Malaysia gained independence from Britain 50 years ago..

Mr. Badawi, You were the Nero, Malaysia never needed and the polls have clearly shown that we don’t want you. Goodbye Mr Badawi.

I am so Happy..

Yaya has viral conjunctivitis and she had my brain for breakfast.

She is now in the process of figuring out what else she can do( her preferred choices are screaming, crying, yelling,nagging, shouting and more crying) to bring more excitement to her mama’s boring life.
Sorry no update till she goes back to school..

Since I can’t really blog, I thought I would something to keep me sane ..
You can ask a question and I will (try to) answer.
However please note: Those questions that have already been asked didn’t get a reply will remain the same way..

Today is an absolutely beautiful day.. the temp is expected to hit 10 degrees..Baby and mama are going for swimming after school and then for some coffee and cake..
See ya all tomorrow

This is Yaya’s favourite song
Where it all began
I cant begin to knowing
But then I know its growing strong

Was in the spring
And spring became the summer
Who’d have believed
you’d come along

Hands, touchin hands
Reaching out
Touching me
Touching you

Sweet caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
But now i
Look at the night
And it don’t seem so lonely
We fill it up with only two

And when I hurt
Hurting runs off my shoulders
How can I hurt when I’m with you

Warm, touching warm
Reaching out
Touching me
Touching me

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
To believe they never would
Oh, no, no

Sweet Caroline
Good times never seemed so good
I’ve been inclined
I believed they never could
Sweet caroline

I waited for Liza to leave before going to the kitchen to see if there is anything left for me to eat. I didn’t want Amma to accuse me of finishing the food before my sisters had a chance to eat!
There was still some uppuma left in the wok and I took half of it in a plate, leaving the other half for Amma. I couldn’t find the pickle, so I took some sugar and sprinkled on top of the uppuma
Amma was in the washroom and I tried to eat as fast as I could before she came out. But the thing with uppuma is, it is too dry and it kind of get caught in the throat. I was just about to finish eating when I heard Amma opening the door. I got up quickly and walked to the kitchen and dumped the plate in the sink. I could have escaped if it wasn’t for the remnants of uppuma stuck on my fingers!
I washed my hands and as I took the kitchen towel to wipe my hand, I heard Amma speaking
“nanam illallo! pathirupathu vayassayi.. ennittum thalla vechu velampanam!”
(ain’t you ashamed? You are old enough to make your own food and still expect your aging mother to cook food for you)
My mother had no problems when it came to ironing Liza’s blouse, but she can’t cook for me. I looked at her wondering if she really knew how mean she was to me.
“What is your issue Amma? You can iron Liza’s top eh? But you can’t cook for me?”
“She is still young, when you were young I ironed your clothes too! Have you forgotten that?”
“No you didn’t Amma. Appa used to iron my clothes when I was little, then Akkachi did and when she left, I started ironing my own clothes. You never did”
nee allelum enginey okkey parayum edi, Ungrateful wretch. I should have never given birth to you”
“Too late for that now” I mocked at her. I was sick and tired of my mother telling me that she should have never given birth to me.
Amma raised her hand to hit me and I held her wrist.
“Don’t Amma. Don’t even try that. Don’t you dare hit me. I have taken enough from you. You will not hit me anymore. Do you understand that?” I yelled.
Amma tried to wriggle her arm to break free from my grasp. I realized she wasn’t as strong as she used to be and I wasn’t as weak as I used to be.
I knew Amma’s wrist was hurting. I knew I shouldn’t hurt Amma. But at that moment, much as I wanted to let go of her wrist, I couldn’t. For years I had dreamt of giving it back to her. For years I wanted to stand up for myself. For years I thought I was weak for not having the physical and the mental strength to fight with Amma. But not today. I was finally able to stand up to her.
Amma stopped trying to free her arm. She was staring at me and I let go.
“You will suffer Nina, for the hurt you have caused me, you will suffer”
“Same goes to you Amma” I whispered as I walked towards my bed. I sat on my bed. I was still breathing deep and I closed my eyes to calm me down.
I could still see the way Amma was looking at me before she stopped wriggling her arm. I could see the pain in her eyes. I knew I hurt Amma too much. I shouldn’t have.
I walked back to where she was standing.
Amma was facing the kitchen shelf and I knew she was crying.
I hated myself. How many times have I promised myself that I would never make Amma cry?
Each time Appa hit her, each time Maria hurt her by being rude, each time Liza yelled at her and made her cry I had promised that I wouldn’t make Amma cry. And what did I do?
“I am sorry Amma”
She didn’t respond. She just wiped her cheeks and turned and walked towards the sink. She took the plates from the sink and started to wash. The plate on top was mine. How could I be like this? How could I expect my aged mother to wash my plates? I felt so guilty.
“Amma I will wash the plates” I whispered.
She didn’t respond.
“Amma” I touched her shoulder
thottupokaruthu (don’t touch me” Amma screamed and I quickly took my hand off. The way she screamed, it almost felt like I was electrocuted. Amma didn’t even turn to look at me. I stood there hoping she would, hoping against hope that she would forgive me. After washing all the dishes Amma turned, wiped her hand on the towel and walked around me as though I didn’t exist.

I didn’t want to stay at home anymore. I just had to get out of the house. I hated myself for hurting Amma. I wondered why I always dreamt of vengeance? What good did it do? What was the thrill I thought I would get by fighting back with Amma? If only I had known how guilty I would be feelings, then I would have never dreamt of vengeance.
I changed my clothes and went to Amma’s room.
She was sitting in front of the sewing machine, trying to thread the needle while balancing her spectacles on her nose. I knew she couldn’t see very well. She had been wanting to get an eye check done and had been postponing because we had no money to buy new glasses.
I knew Amma won’t let me help her, but I still asked
“Shall I help you thread the needle?”
She didn’t reply. I wasn’t surprised at all.
“Amma I am going out” I spoke hoping she would ask where I was going? Although I had no idea where I was going!
She still didn’t speak.
I took my bag from the floor and walked out, closing the door gently.
I checked the time. It was 9.45 am. The streets were busy with people rushing to work, traders getting their carts organized, house wives busy buying vegetables from the street vendors. I didn’t know where I was going.
Where to go?
I was in the middle of one of the busiest streets in Bangalore, yet I had no where to go. No friends home to visit, no cousins home to nothing.
I was alone in Bangalore pattanam. I almost laughed thinking about my pathetic life.
Since most of the shops in MG road opens only after 10 and I had nothing else to do and very little money to spend I decided to walk to MG road from Austin town.
By the time I reached the junction near St Philomena’s hospital I was exhausted. I also realized MG road was still very very very far away!
I thought of walking back home. But there was nothing to do at home and I didn’t want to fight with Amma.
I was thirsty. May be I will buy a glass of lemon juice. I could almost visualize a glass of fresh lime soda! But that meant longer wait for Amma’s glasses.
Never mind. I won’t die just because I am thirsty. I told myself while trying to remember how long can a human last without water. I couldn’t remember.

I must have walked another 15 to 20 minutes when I noticed a red Maruthi car slowing down and coming towards the sidewalk. Where did this monkey learn to drive? I wondered. I moved to the side and continued to walk. Then I heard the car driver honking.
oi? Why was he honking? May be it was one of my college mates. I turned to look, while thinking who owned a red Maruthi. I saw a middle aged ugly man grinning at me. He certainly wasn’t my classmate. Although I didn’t quite understand why he was grinning at me, I continued to walk. Was he a patient at the hospital? Why was he smiling? Does he know me?
I was sure I had never met him before, still I hoped he wasn’t someone I was related to. I didn’t want to be rude to a relative.
Few seconds later the car came again in front of me and was slowing down. This time annan in the car had his head out of the window and was grinning at me.
Only then did I understand what this was all about. I got so mad mostly because I was a tube light and partly because of the annan’s audacity and what he thought about me.
“Get lost” I yelled
Annan grinned some more. I realized he was getting his thrill by making me angry. I took the biggest rock I could find and aimed to throw at his car. Even if it hit the glass and broke, I was going to throw the rock. In any case who would arrest George’s niece? Some times devils too are useful!
First rock hit the back of the car and I looked around for more rocks.
By the time I got the second rock annan and his Maruthi already crossed the traffic light.
I threw the rock down and wiped my hands on my jeans. Some how my actions reminded me of Methran Thambi’s wife. How she chased the congress party workers with the parang (sickle). I smiled thinking about it. I continued to walk, eventually I reached the MG road and all I wanted to do was to sit down. But the benches were near the Gangarams side of MG road. I still had to walk some more distance.
There were some Palestinian students standing in front of one of the shops and when they saw me walking, one of them came up to me and said
Unlike the annan He looked cute. He had hazel eyes.
I ignored him and continued to walk. He started to follow me and spoke
“Want to go for coffee?” He asked
“English gothakilva (can’t speak english)” I told him
“What?” He was staring at me
naku english gothakilva, no english” I shook my hands and looked a him pathetically
“Oh Sorry” He whispered and walked back to where his friends were standing, waiting for the next girl who could speak English.
The irony was every one wanted to go out for coffee with me, except the guy I am in love with. I had no clue where he was or what he was doing. As I walked I checked all the bikes, hoping I could spot his bike. Cauvery handicraft show room was opened and there were few matsalleh’s already in the shop. I looked at all the cure handicraft stuffs in the show room. I loved the wooden elephant set. One day when I make enough money I would buy the elephants. I promised myself.
Window shopping is boring especially when you have no money to spend. I crossed the road and went to sit on the cement bench. The sun was shining and there were no shades. I knew if I sat there any longer, I would get a head ache. So I got up and walked towards commercial street.
There was nothing much to do in commercial street either. So I walked to Eloor lending library, sat there and read some books. My stomach started to growl and I was sure the man sitting across the room could hear it. I borrowed some books and walked out. I went to the park and sat down there for a while, around 4 pm, I started to walk back home.