Years ago while studying in UK, I delivered flyers to the homes around the university.
Being directionally challenged, I was very weary of taking up the job. But money was needed!

The day was a very clear winter morning. I remember thinking it was very beautiful.

Some houses had signs outside saying no flyers. But I was delivering University flyer and I was told that Uni employees will make random phone calls to house holds to enquire if they received the flyers. So i decided to deliver the flyers, irrespective of if the house owner wished or not. One particular house, my fingers were almost eaten by the dog, just as I tried to push open the slot on the door.
Some houses I could hear the dogs having a go at the flyer i had just delivered. I pitied the house owner and the mess he or she will have to deal with when they returned in the evening.
Some houses I couldn’t find the damn mailbox!
Few houses had the mail slot near the bottom of the door. I wondered if they even thought how inconvenient it is to bend down while holding heavy stack of flyer in your hand.
I was thirsty before I could complete half of my round. I didn’t take water because I didn’t want to carry that weight as well.
So although the day was beautiful, I was feeling crabby by the minute.
Then I came to this house on a hill.
It was constructed in such a way that all rooms faced the valley.
I thought, now that is a beautiful house.
Just as I was about to go up the stairs to deliver the flyer, the door was opened and a very old man came out pushing a bed. I could hear him talking.
Then he propped up the head end of the bed.
Then I saw her.
She was so beautiful, so frail, so old.
I heard him telling her
“Darling it is a beautiful day”
She didn’t say anything
I don’t think she understood. She was just staring in to the distance.
He pulled the chair that was there closer to the bed. sat down, all the while talking to her.
I kind of felt I was trespassing their private moment. yet it felt so good to see the love he had for her.
I remember thinking
Would I ever find someone like that to grow old with!

Taking a step back

Today i had a meeting with my son’s school principal and guidance counsellor.
My son keeps telling me how bored he is at school and I knew from experience that the more bored he is, the more trouble he gets in to. I was discussing the ways we could work together.
While talking to the Principal, i told her that my son is supposed to do a project on Industrial revolution. He has no clue when the project is due, and since Monday I have been asking him to find out and he is not bothered.
She suggested that I don’t ask him anymore.
She suggested that I take a step back.
Let him fail and learn to take responsibility.
I understand her point.
I know I have to take a step back.
I am an extremely organized person and I hate the thought of him handing in incomplete work. Yet i can’t forever be there reminding him to do his work.
The day before the project is due, all hell will break lose here and the part of me knows that I can prevent it by asking him to do his work..
Meanwhile my daughters.. they submit all their projects when it is due.. I don’t even remember when i have asked to see Yaya’s work..She never has any problems..
Why are boys so different!
I know I will never figure it out.

What would take my mother to stop punishing me?
Yesterday it was the chook feed. My chooks are 8 weeks old and their food was running out. I bought the feed on my way back from school.
The first questions my mother asked me was
“Did you tell them how old the chooks were? Did you buy the food meant for 8 weeks old chooks?”
Most of the time I tend to ignore her, but sometimes I want her to know that I am 39 years old and can think. I get so angry when she thinks that I am an idiot. I have told her so many times that I am not her 6 year old daughter anymore and I really don’t need any more mothering. But she doesn’t get it. She will never get it.

Then it is her cloths. It is beyond her to wear anything decent. She wants everyone to think that she doesn’t have good cloths because she was spending every dime she had for her daughters and not for herself.
One nighty, one grey underskirt ( that was black at some point) one faded salwar ( athu kashu koduthu vangicha tha! So even if it is faded, it has to be accepted), one hippy pant that was my younger sister’s discard and one old suitcase ( read very very very old). That was all she brought with her when she came to stay with me.
But she didn’t forget to bring her Leela Kempinski room slippers! she even took the Leela Kempinski slipper with her when she went to stay with her cousin. Sadly the cousin was born and raised in Malaysia and never heard of Leela Kempinski! And amma was very disappointed.

I know you can take a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink. I know Amma won’t change. But much as I try to change and accommodate her, I also feel like sending her to the old folks home.
But she tried so hard in her own weird ways to raise her daughters. She never did a good job. Does that mean that I will also end up not doing a good job if I can’t even take care of my own mother in her old age?

She was my friend. She stays 2 blocks from where I live. Her son and my son are best friends. Her daughter and my youngest were best freinds last year. This year they were in two different classes. But they still play during recess

We had regular play dates and sleepovers, till Amma came to live with us.
The first time she came to visit after Amma moved in, Amma didn’t say a word to her. Amma just sat on the chair next to her and pretended that she didn’t exist.
I knew my mother’s actions were uncomfortable for anyone to accept.
My mother also brought only one nighty with her that she wears everyday with a faded black skirt.. Can’t buy her a new one from here because she doesn’t like anything that is available here.
I found it extremely humiliating to invite friends over when my mother is wearing her uniform and then won’t talk to anyone. So I stopped inviting friends over.
Yesterday was her daughter’s birthday party. She didn’t invite my daughter.
baby hasn’t stopped crying. ( My daughter had even bought her a gift from Canada)
I want to scream.
I wish I could take my children and run.. some where far far away.


My son escaped suspension from school by hairs-breadth.

Lately he has been making bow and arrow out of paper clips, rubber band and tooth pick. ( he blunts the edge of the tooth pick!)
I sat with him and explained to him about the dangers of bow and arrow and told him that at no time will he take the bow and arrow to school. He was also told that he cannot point the bow at anyone or even attempt to shoot at anyone.
I had told him about the arrow hitting in the eye and how dangerous it can be.

He understood everything!!! That is what he told me. He was only going to practice shooting the fence with his bow and arrow. He told me that he isn’t stupid to shoot someone, because the arrow, though blunt can still maim someone!

He told me that he wasn’t going to take the bow and arrow to school because it could be considered a weapon and how a student in his school got suspended for bringing a knife to school.

Yesterday he made a bow and arrow at school using ice block sticks ! ( he didn’t disobey me by taking it from home, he took the supply from his teacher’s art box)

Then he aimed at his current girl friend and then shot her. Fortunately she moved and the arrow didn’t hit her.
The girl went and complained to her class teacher.
Fortunately for me, the teacher gave my son a warning and took away the bow and arrow.

This is the kid who should be aware of the consequences of his action.
Why didn’t my son think of what will happen if the arrow hit someone ?
Why didn’t he think that bow and arrow is considered a weapon and is not allowed at school?
why didn’t he remember that he will be in big, huge, giant trouble? both at home and at school.

I still don’t understand my son.
I don’t know if I can bring this child up without him getting suspended from school.
I punished by taking half of his savings (He was saving for a RC helicopter) and donating the money to charity. It broke his heart. We also had a big discussion about how our actions affects us.
I thought my son understood everything..
This morning the first thing my son wanted to do was to make a crossbow with a pencil.
It is like he owns a magic eraser. All that happened last night is forgotten.
What do I do?

Do i ? do I not?

I spend the last two days learning about permutation and combination, all to solve a grade 7 ICAS maths question.
The fact that I only studied maths till grade 10 and that too in Malayalam has made it very difficult for me to remember much of what I studied. So I had to buy a grade 10 text book and go through it again.
The question that I was trying to solve was

The bank machine has four rows of buttons
1 2 3
4 5 6
7 8 9

Sam has a 4 digit bank number that uses one button from each row. For eg his bank number could be 0571.

How many different possibilities for Sam’s number are there.

Initially I thought there could be 3 choice from row 1, 3 from row 2 so on so forth.
And i got the answer 27. That made no sense. There had to be more than 27 combination of numbers, or anyone could hack the ATM pin code. (I know I don’t think like most and have a weird sense of logic)

This morning I finally figured , perhaps I need to look at the numbers 0471,0852, and 0963
That would give 24 ( 4 digit number 4 X 3 X 2 X 1) combination of each number. So 72 combinations.

Am I right?

Update: I just looked at the numbers again and I miseed so many numbers…for eg 0753, 0752, 08630841 etc etc.
So there has to be an eqation. What am I missing?

Now this brings me to my heartache for the day.
I, as an adult couldn’t solve a question like this, why would I want to make my child even attempt this question? Why would I frustrate them when they don’t get the answer?
Then again I firmly believe practice makes perfect.
I know Senna ( I am forever in love with him) wouldn’t have been 3 time champion if he hadn’t worked hard to get it ( That reminds me, it is 16 years this month)
Do I get my children to practice all these questions, so they can do the test well? What would they gain if they get High distinction? Where do i draw the line?