Years ago…many many years ago.. I walked from Kanjikuzhy junction to collectorate on a school day, wearing my school uniform.
As I walked, I noticed people kind of staring at me, snickering, laughing etc.
Even at the age of 12, I was a total lost case.
I didn’t even understand that they were laughing at me. I was clueless.
Finally I reached the collectorate bus stand. Then a very nice chechy very kindly informed me that I am wearing my skirt inside out!!!
The thing is, I had to twist the skirt to put the hook on and how is that I didn’t realize my skirt is inside out should never baffle you.. Like I mentioned..I am a lost case
And you know what is worst?
I had a presentation this morning with few high flying dudes. I was dressed to the nines. Gina Bacconi Jacket and skirt!!!!
As I was presenting the project project, I looked down to see that I wore my blouse inside out..and I am sure everyone noticed….I want the earth to open up and swallow me..NOW
Today is onam..
Each year, the malayalee in me is dying a slow ( and painful ) death.
If I tell my children that today is Onam, they will say “Oh really, where is the money ( kai neettam)”. Technically Kai neettam was for vishu, but amma used to give us onam kai neettam and I continued the tradition.
This morning as I was making the lunch for the kids, Yaya came to me and asked if the shorts and t shirt she is wearing match well? I looked at my beautiful child. Pictured her in a silk pavada and blouse. a dozen kuppi vala ( bangles) on her arms, jimukki ( earrings) and may be a mulla mottu mala ( necklace). The truth is, there is no way I can get Yaya to wear any of those. She will not wear a dress, let alone skirt.
I did think of making at least something “malayalee” for dinner. But my son will be coming home this evening and I think he would have missed home cooked food. He loves Russian cabbage rolls, so I am planning to make that for dinner.
I could always tell the kids the story of Onam.
But for what?
They don’t identify as a malayalee and why am I carrying this dying malayalee around?
Wishing you all a very happy onam..and those of you lucky enough to enjoy a day like I used to as a child.. I envy you
This morning my youngest asked me if I knew how Amazon river got its name.
Of course I knew
It is a delight to know something, especially in front of ones children who forever are thinking that their mother is a classic case of Jurassic park!!
With a 70 mm smile I told her
“Amazon river is in the Amazon basin and got its name from that” ( almost similar to what Nina Thomas answered when Community medicine prof asked her to define Community medicine..”study of community is called community medicine”. Now you have to give me credit for keeping a straight face while giving such a wonderful answer!)
“Mom” My child gave that exasperated look. “Do you know where the word amazon came from? And no it is not a Mayan/incan/other south american word” She replied, effectively closing my various exit outlets.
Let me tell you how difficult it is to tell your 9 year old child that you don’t know how the Amazon river got its name. ( BTW, what exactly did they teach us when we went to school??)
Long story short.. I ate the humble pie
I thought I had my dose for the day, till she asked me if I knew who the Amazon women were.
And no, I didn’t even try to tell her that the Amazon women were the inhabitants of Amazon basin!! I think she would have disowned me.
So this is what I learned, ( from my 9 yr old)
Amazon women were legendary warriors. A tribe of women warriors. Probably lived during the bronze age.
Homer did mention about them in Illiad as “Amazons who go to war like men”.
Heracles had to bring the girdle of Hippolyta as part of the 12 labors of Heracles.
Spaniards in their quest for El dorado, encountered hostile Indian women warriors who were supposedly very tall and fair. They thought the women warriors are the fabled Amazons warriors and named the river Amazon,
I now have to read more about Amazon warriors so I can keep my 70 mm smile, ( according to the same 9 year old, I must stop frowning, or my face will be like a freshly ploughed field.. Don’t you love children who are honest?)
I dropped my son this morning to his school for a week long school camp.
As a rule I never pack my children’s bags because they need to know what they have to take with them, most importantly they need to know where it is kept. So I let them do it themselves. ( it didn’t always work well all the time, we have had times where one of my children have left the most important stuff like clean underwear’s at home!!)
Yaya took a small back pack when she went for the camp. My son took three bags. I have no idea what he has taken with him, I know they are all very important..
Dinner times are going to be very difficult without my son. He is the joker of the family
I told Yaya, fish is rich in Omega 3 and is good for your brain
My son responds immediately “what brain?”
The other day, we had a massive hail storm. It happened on the same day Yaya decided to stop drinking juice and drink water instead. ( Yaya never drinks water, only juice)
I said the hail was because of Yaya..
My son replied ” Mom, the hails are the eyes of gods that popped out when they saw Yaya drinking water!!
Yesterday I told my son for something that he is like me. He replied ” Mom, poison apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!!”
I send him a parcel this morning. I packed a wacky drinking straw that goes around the face, head etc. Latest New scientist and national geographic magazine and a puzzle box” Hopefully he will get it in time.
Well..My son is going for a 5 days of school camp tomorrow. Though I am the last minute sorta person, I did manage to get everything he needed to take with him on time. I was proud of my ability to organize things well and decided to celebrate my achievements by opening a nice bottle of red.
My excitement lasted till Yaya came to me and asked
“So what did you send for him?”
You know that feeling?? like the air in your helium balloon is lost all of a sudden kind of feeling??
Well, the thing is, Yaya went for the same camp 2 years ago. Because it was just a few weeks after we came to Australia and she hadn’t made a lot of friends, I had send a parcel to the camp in her name in advance.
I did think of sending something for my son.
But what do you send for a boy? You can’t send toys, food, electronic stuff etc
It was so easy to send something for Yaya. I send her a cuddly toy, some arty stuff, pens, a disposable camera..etc
I really couldn’t think of anything I could send for my son.
I thought no one will remember about the fact I send something for Yaya and all will be well..
I weaseled myself out by saying it is a surprise and I am not telling anyone.
How do I tell about something that is not send??
Tomorrow I must go and get something and send it by priority mail, so my son would get it in the next few days..
anyone has any ideas??
Two posts in a day??
Writing is a catharsis to a tormented soul..
My son is 11..he played along Urnaggunna kurukkan this morning for me.
Soon he will be a teenager..I am sure things will change..
that is the norm..
But I don’t change, do I? I will still be the same.
Someone posted a MLTR song on my FB wall
In 1998, I was living in Ampang and yaya was 7 months old. My apt used to have a little balcony and it faced the KL tower and twin towers. I was given a MLTR disc as a gift. ( the only CD I had at that time). I would play the cd each evening and hold Yaya and dance with her, while watching for the lights to come on in the KL tower.. I don’t know if they still do it, but in those days they would change the KL tower light colours for special occasions. It was such a magnificent sight.
One of the yaya’s favourite words as a child was tin tawa.. ( for twin tower). She loved tin tawa so much..
Kids grow up so fast..
I used to think that my obligations as a parent would be over when my youngest is 18..and now I dread the thought of my empty nest.
My father used to play Uranggunna kurukkan ( the sleeping fox) game with us when we were little.
sometimes he had to work late and when he came back home my sisters and I would be in bed often pretending to be fast asleep. Appa would come to our room and call out the youngest child’s name and say
“Uranggunna kurukkan kai pokkum” ( sleeping fox will lift their hands), and the gullible little idiot would promptly lift her hand and get us all in to trouble!!!
I have played the same game with my kids since they were babies.
It started with telling them the story of how all little foxes and little babies lift their hand when they are fast asleep!!!
I went a bit further than my father..
sleeping fox will wave their hand like the queen, touch their nose with their pinky etc..
My son’s room is the closest to the kitchen. This morning I was making Pizza for school lunch and while the pizza was in the oven, I thought I will kacau ( irritate, harass, annoy etc) my son. I knew he was awake, but pretending to sleep.
So I gave him a kiss and told him Uranggunna kurukkan kai pokkum..He lifted his leg!! Then I said Uranggunna kurukkan thala kulukkum ( shake his head) He waved his hands..
My son doesn’t understand a word of malayalam.. but still played along..
I cherish these moments..
It was so much fun..