Not your god given right.


When I saw the photo of Nicholas, I fell in love with his beautiful blue eyes..and his impish grin and I wanted to hold him and give him a million hugs..because I also noticed the wide set eyes and knew he is a lucky one. The one who is allowed to be born, .because the prenatal tests would have  certainly been positive for Downs and his parents could have killed him.

I try to live a life without regrets, but sometimes when I see the 2 empty chairs at my dining table, I wish I had more children..I wish my son had a brother who would have understood all the things my son finds fascinating, instead of the  the two annoying  and clueless sisters  he has to live with. But I was already 31 when I gave birth to my youngest and I knew the chances of a child born with Trisomy increases with my age and I felt I had no right to bring a child in to this world knowing very well that there was a chance my baby could have down’s. My age was against me and that was a risk I couldn’t take. My mom had my youngest sister when she was 44 and I really wanted to convince myself that nothing would happen, but the little voice in my head did what it does so asked over and over what if?? what if??

I am an anti abortionist. ( except mother’s health and rape). If a baby took a breath after his or her birth and if you killed the baby the very next second, you will soon find yourself counting the bars in the cell. There are  laws that says if you were the cause for a pregnant woman to lose her life and that of her unborn child ( even a car accident), you will be guilty of the murder of not just the mother, but also the unborn baby. But somehow, it is alright for a mother to chose if she wanted to carry her baby or not. Because Abortion is legal in most countries and  It doesn’t matter that the baby’s heart starts beating at 6-7 weeks and it is really  alive at the time of his or her murder.

Now, with all the advance in medical technologies, we are  able to find if the baby is “healthy” and if it isn’t, it is just a minor procedure and a few days of discomfort for the mother..Yet, we think Hitler’s eugenics and action T4 policies were horribly wrong. Action T4  (

Except in the case of rape, every woman who is pregnant chose to have sex and the baby is the result of having sex. You, as a woman have a choice to not have sex or use protection, but you do not have a god given right to kill your unborn child because you aren’t ready to have a baby or because the baby is not ‘healthy’.

Children are a be loved and cherished ..

( Long weekend. Away until Tuesday)

My baby

Last Saturday, I  asked my son to refill the food and water for the chooks. I saw him carrying the chook food in the gunny sack to to the coop. since the job involved taking the feeder out, washing it and then filling it, I thought he would be able to handle that. I had a busy day and in between doing my chores, I did notice that there were lot more birds in the backyard. My grandmother used to say that birds only come to those houses where good people live and I thought how true that is.. after all I am nothing but good. But this was the first time, I saw birds occupying the entire fence and squawking away to glory. In the evening, I went to collect the eggs ( my son will not touch eggs because the presence of chook shit makes  it  dirty !!!) and there near the chook cage was the reason for all the birds visiting my home. I offered a full buffet. My wonderful son got distracted while taking the feeder out and went to play with the chooks..leaving a full gunny sack of feed open on the ground..The birds were surely thrilled, but not me. Surely the task was simple and he could have played with the chooks after finishing what he was supposed to do.

Even after threatening him with dire consequences, he still comes to me at 6.59 AM ( he has to leave home exactly at 7 to catch the 7.02 bus), often with a scrap piece of paper ( because he can’t find the original permission form and chose to scribble his name and I, his mother gives permission on any available paper) asking me to sign.

I charge 1 $ fine, if he doesn’t keep his lunch container in the sink when he comes back from school. He weeps most days when he hands me the 1 $ and tells me that I am really mean. He knows the full periodic table, atomic weight blah blah, but taking his lunch container out of his school bag every day is something he just can’t remember to do.

He still does all his homework.assignment the very last hour ( yes, he inherited that from me).

His idea of social life is to be on facebook 24/7 ( just so he could talk to his friends in Canada as well) ! He hates doing exercise. So, I told him each day he is allowed one hour on FB. If he needs more time, he has to buy credits at half an hour blocks.. every half an hour equals one round of jogging around the block ( 1.5 km). Yes, he said a million times again that I am a really mean mother and no, he hasn’t asked for extra time..he is pretty happy with the 1 hour he gets currently.

He thinks the best part of becoming a teenager is that he can now watch all the M rated movies. He is eagerly waiting to watch the latest die hard movie..

Sometimes, I still see my little when we play monopoly and he gives himself extra 200 each time he passes go because he is the banker and by the time his mother and sisters have calculated and figured the only reason he is so flush with money is because of the extra, extra 200 he gives himself, the game would have been long over. Or when he steals my tea and then tell me that he was just checking to make sure that the tea was sweet enough for his sweet mother.

He has dimples and still asks me to  sing “painkili, nintey dimple nte kumbilil oru pimple”..and I have been singing that to him from the time he was a little baby.

His room is a mess, his work is done the very last second, he never completes any chores.. but he never forgets to give me a goodnight kiss..

The joys of being a the little things..

Change is good.

I am now the mother of two teenagers !, My son is now officially a teenager. As a mother, before, all I really had to be concerned about was to teach my children what is right/wrong and now I am keeping my fingers crossed that the next few years will be easier on my sanity and they will remember to use their brain.

Simple things like my child attending a birthday party can end in disaster. I knew the parents of the birthday child, I knew where the party was held and I knew who was attending. I made sure of all that. What I didn’t know was that one of the kids attending the party would raid his father’s liquor cabinet and bring a bottle of Vodka. What is even more disturbing is that one of the girls drank the vodka straight, as if it is a bottle of water and ended up with alcohol poisoning and had to be rushed to the hospital emergency.

It was the same when Yaya went to Spain. Most of her classmates are taller and look much older than 15 and they were able to buy alcohol from the shop and were drinking and the teachers had no idea.

Yaya told me that she didn’t want to drink either of the times because she felt it was not worth the hassle. I don’t know how many more times my child would think it isn’t worth the hassle before she caves in to peer pressure. I refuse to assume that “because she is my daughter and I have raised her well, she will not do anything bad”

And then there is ‘love’. Often times it is totally the wrong guy/gal and I am tempted to tell my children to use the bloody brain that they have. But I don’t. ( Mostly because I know, I did everything my mother told me not to ! and the last thing I want is for my children to do the exactly what I did)

Sometimes, they get their heart broken and I want to clobber the person responsible ! I wish I could protect my children from getting hurt and I know I can’t. It breaks my heart to see them looking as if the world has ended. Sometimes a bowl of chicken soup. or a trip to the mall to buy new clothes ( Yaya) works. Sometimes, nothing works and I have to resort to unorthodox methods..Last time after seeing Yaya sulking for a few days, I told her, we shall have a  pretend burial of the guy who broke her heart. Her favourite movie is ” the proposal” And I told her, I will wear a my red blanket as a cape and will do all the chanting..

We didn’t do any such thing.. but she came out of the room and told me

“Mom, you are the best mother in the world”

She then called her friends and told them what I was going to do and everyone thought it was funny !

( Honestly, I didn’t know how it would have panned out. On one side she would have accused me of being a terrible mother for suggesting such a macabre idea and on the other hand there was me, I don’t even eat meat, so I don’t have to participate in killing an animal for a meal and here I was suggesting a pretend burial !)

Yaya steals all my clothes and hates it if I  say “that top/skirt looks very familiar” I don’t know why she gets upset when she is the one wearing my clothes..but I let it go.

Some days, her room looks like Hurricane Katrina is a resident in her room. Other times, she will help arrange all the cans in the pantry. I think her moods work according to how the planets are aligned.

I was going to write about my son ! until tomorrow.

Strewth, I messed it all up.

When I was about 12 or 13, there was a little snippet about someone winning the Rhodes scholarship in the Malayala Manorama newspaper. I don’t remember who the person was, but somehow I have associated it with Arundathi Roy’s family. It was time before Internet and I went to my mother and showed her the photo of the winner and asked her “Amma, What is Rhode’s scholarship?”. Obviously her response was to belittle me further and convince me that I was good for nothing. She told me, instead of aiming for the obviously unachievable, I should seriously consider passing the 10th std, for no one really wants a bride who is deaf, dumb and blind and asked me to think what will happen to me if I have no educational qualification. She also told me, I should actually look at joining the convent as an option because she sees no future for me in anything else. ( And yes, for years I thought I will join the convent and my sisters used to call me ‘mother Sarah’) But still there was this thought..that if he ( the guy who won the scholarship) could do it, so could I, even though I was everything my mother said I was and struggling at school. How much ever my mother tried to extinguish the flame of my hopes, it always flickered..I couldn’t just give up.

I never got Rhodes Scholarship, never knew how to go about getting it and life kept throwing various challenges my way and I was busy slaying my dragons and trying to stay alive. But I did know one thing, if I ever have children, I will give them all the chances to get ‘there’.. The ‘there’ is no particular was anywhere my children wanted to go..because I know that if you work hard enough, there is no mountain that you can’t climb. I wanted to give them a chance, the chance I was deprived of. I took education policies for each of them as soon as they were born. I migrated to Canada and then to Australia, so they will have a very good education and have the choice of top universities.  But in all these, I forgot to tell my children that I do not expect them to go to the top universities..What I wanted to give them was a window of opportunities..that they can use if they wanted because I didn’t want to be the speed bump in their path like my mother was.. Somehow, it got translated that my children think that I would be upset if they didn’t go to top Uni’s. But the thing is, if they became to UN secretary general or a petrol kiosk attendant, they don’t cease being my children. I love them for who they are, not what they become in their life. Their success doesn’t equate to my happiness. My happiness is raising them each day, seeing them blossoming in to wonderful people. I now have to undo the damage of my own doing..

My masterpiece

My youngest was born with grey/blue colour eyes. ( over the years it became more brown). When she was about 9 months old, after seeing my daughter’s beautiful grey/ blue eyes, I was asked by the owner of a leading modelling agency , if I would let my 9 month old baby do some modelling.

I refused the offer, because I  wanted my 9 month old baby to have a normal childhood. At 9 months, she wouldn’t have understood how rigorous and demanding the industry is. I didn’t want her to grow up under a spotlight.  I felt a whole lot of negative issues outweighed a few seconds of fame.

Surely, it would have been nice to see my daughter’s photo in the print media. At least, I could have told ‘4 people’ that my 9 month old  daughter is the model for ‘xyz’ company. But it was I, who would have benefited, had  I let my baby do the modelling at that time. ( unless I saved all the money she would have earned and didn’t take any credit for being the mom of a famous model !)

I already worry about her body image issues, imagine what would have happened if she was already in to modelling as a child and worked with all the stick insects up close and personal.

Yesterday, my youngest asked me, “mom, what is your expectations about me?” ( We have been having issues with my middle child and this line of discussion has been going for the past few days. I will blog about it later)

I said “nothing, I have no expectations” And I told her ” Baby girl, You are not my masterpiece where I expect that everyone will like my final product and I can take a gracious bow for doing a good job. You are the blank canvas gifted to me, I take care of the canvas making sure that it is protected from  moths and other such things..clean the surface regularly and keep it you can add whatever colours you want and paint your own picture. If you damaged the canvas, perhaps I could help you fix it, If you want me to shade in something, I could do that too. But it is still your painting. You are your own masterpiece and the only way you can create is by knowing what you want to do in your life. If you study well, get admission to a top Uni, I will be happy for you, just as I would be happy, if you chose to flip burgers at Maccas”

She looked relieved..

But sometimes I wonder, if I should be more demanding.. If I should have worked at the painting? Did I do the right thing when I refused her a chance to be famous? Am I failing my children because of my lack of expectations?

I hope you are happy.

This post is a rant, read at your own peril.

They say one must not add salt to the wound, but sometimes you can’t stop yourself from rubbing in the salt, especially when the wound was created by selfishness.

What is this with Malayalee parents who think that giving life to a child means life long obedience, that makes the parents the master puppeteer and the child a puppet that dance according to the tunes set by the parents?

My senior would still be alive if it wasn’t for his parents. He died alone at night because his parents didn’t want him to move to where his wife works. He was told to stay in his family home and if his wife wanted to live with him, then she just have to quit her current job and move back with him. ( she couldn’t get a similar job where he lived and was working in the same place before she got married)

The poor guy was stuck in this quagmire of loyalty to his parents and his family life. He just couldn’t hurt his parents and they took advantage of his guilt.

We gave you life, we educated you and now you must take care of us, it is your duty ! This is the common manthra practiced in many homes in Kerala.

How many marriages are destroyed by selfish parents with ulterior motives?

When will parents learn that “your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of tomorrow”.

Every parent out there have a child because they didn’t use a condom/pills or even better, practice abstinence! You, as a parent chose to have a child and it is your responsibility to raise them, educate them and then set them free. Everyone grows old, but it is irresponsible to hold your children as your old age insurance. I am not saying that filial piety is wrong. It is wrong when the needs of the parents overtake that of the child. No son should ever have to choose between his parents and his wife. Shame on the parents who continue to make children feel guilty.

My senior never had a family life. I do know that he really wanted to stay with his wife and his parents refused to leave their family home and move to where his wife works. ( this is our home, we lived here all our life and we want to die here). It was they who chose the wife for him..and they continued to choose his dance tunes. He just drowned in his own sorrow while waiting for his parents to die, so he could be free of his obligations. He waited for his tomorrows when he could live with his wife.. sadly he didn’t get a chance.

Raise your children and set them free from the jail of duty and obligations you have built for them.


Gone, never forgotten.

I lost a very dear friend few days ago. He was my senior.

Generally, I don’t keep very many malayalee guys who were born and raised in Kerala as friends because I just can’t stand their attitude and arrogance. Most of the Mallu seniors fell in to the category ” if she talked to me, that means she is ‘fast’ and perhaps if I try hard enough, I will get lucky ! ” For them friendship with a mallu female always had ulterior motives. There was this phenomena of  ‘brotherhood’  practiced by the women of the same ethnic group. If you wanted to be friendly with guys of the same ethnicity without any hassles, then you tell from the beginning that ” you are like a brother to me” and that line offered a Lakshman rekha, for no one wanted to mess with their sisters !

Then there are guys who were raised well who knew to treat women from the opposite sex not as a sexual object gifted to you, but as a friend. He was such a guy. You never had to worry about any inappropriate behaviour from him. It was such a delight to see him each morning while I did my morning rounds. He always had that pleasant smile and I knew without even looking he would have a smidgen of bhasmam on his forehead. His relationship with his God was very private. He wasn’t out there to preach or to show anyone how religious he was. But you knew from his mannerism that he was a devout Hindu and  followed all the dictates. He never smoked or drank and never failed a single subject.

Then he completed his degree and year later so did I.And though I added him as a friend on fb, I never talked to him. It was impossible to jump start a friendship after 20 years. But when another senior called me to tell me that he passed away, I didn’t know what to say.. How do you cope with the loss of a friend who has always been thought of fondly even though you haven’t talked to him for 2 decades?

But what I find the most disturbing is, everyone wants to know “what happened?” and “How did he die?” “Was it an MI?, or something similar?” Somehow death ain’t death till all the finer details are known and analysed.

Why is that we can’t accept someone’s death until and unless we know the exact details? Do we really need to know all the fine details? He is gone, his wife and children will not have him for the rest of their life, isn’t that the tragedy?

Today I mourn the loss of a great friend..

Velliyazhcha nalla divasam


Today, I am eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. To sum it all up, imagine a girl who went to an ordinary school and struggled with low grades because she was  deaf and dumb and blind to everyone around her and went through so much  adversities over the years that often she wished if only she died during the night, then she wouldn’t have to see  another new day.. That same girl grew up and is now able to say “How much I would have lost if I had given up on me”


I found this rose few months ago in the clearance section at Bunnings. ( Hardware store). It didn’t have any leaves and looked really sad. Of all the odd things I am known to think, that particular moment I remembered Balachandra Menon and the song “kattil oru kochu mulla, mulpadarppil oru kochumulla” I don’t remember the full lyrics or the name of the movie or for that matter the story line. I was probably 11 years old when the movie came out, but  I can still see the house and him coming out of veranda with this song being played as sad melody in the back ground ( towards the end of the movie). This was no mulla (jasmine), but still, how could I leave this plant to languish in the corner of the shop and be forgotten? Much to my own dismay ( ’cause I can kill any plants with no trouble and to think what would be the fate of one already at the death’s door) and to that of the  checkout staff who looked at the plant and at me to see if I have lost my marbles, I bought it. After all, I thought the worst that can happen is that  I will lose the 4$ I paid for the plant. I didn’t do anything other than to plant the rose on the ground. Mother nature did the rest and look at it now. Isn’t it a beauty?

So, velliyazha nalla divasam anu..and now I really want to go and live South America, learn Spanish, eat Tapas, drink grappamiel and….there is tango to dance still.


My yard stick

Sometime ago, a distant relative of mine came to visit me and while talking asked “didn’t you get bored when you stayed back home?” And before I could reply she said ” what a waste of talent”. She is not the only one to have judged me this way and it bothers me every time someone does this.

Few weeks ago kids and I were talking about our vacation this year as this is the last year Yaya will be able to take time off from school. Next two years she will be busy with grade 11 and 12 and then she thinks she wouldn’t be able to join us for  the family holidays because she will be busy working part time and studying full time ! And as the  kids are two years apart, when Yaya finishes grade 12, my son will finish grade 10 and he too won’t be able to take time off from school, this will repeat itself with baby when my son finishes high school. So technically we really won’t have any major family vacations the next 6 years. But there are still places that we are yet to visit. And that brought us to talk about how nice it would be, if we won the lottery and could buy round the world ticket for all of us !

Yaya asked me “Mom, if you won a great deal of money, what is the first thing you will do?”

And I replied ” I will quit my job and stay at home”

My kids didn’t ask me Why?( because they probably know their mother is the happiest when she is still in her pyjamas with a cup of Kusmi tea in one hand and a book in the other hand) But I did think of my relative who said what a waste of time it was when I stayed home to raise my children.

I felt I was judged with a yardstick that measured my success ( or lack of) with another person. It is true that some of my classmates are now world renowned and I could have been like them. But surely the only yardstick that ought to be used here is what makes me happy?

I am happy when I can read all the book I want to. I am happy when I can smell the  bread being baked in the oven. I am happy when I don’t miss any of my children’s concerts. I am happy when I don’t have to think what should I wear today? And I really would be happy if I could learn Latin and read all the Latin texts. I would love to have chance to live among the Australian aboriginal people and learn about their lifestyle especially their traditional medicines..My list of things that I love to do are not the same as anyone else because I am me and I have my likes and dislikes.

At the end of the day, the lady who is at the helm of FB or the one at Pepsi and I are only eligible for the 6 feet of ground. So why is that my life is not as relevant as the others just because I don’t want to travel the same path as them? Why must my life be not worth just as much? Why was it considered a waste because I chose to do what I want to do?

Just for the record, I don’t really remember all that I did when my kids were little. It was all a blur. But I do know this, I was tired and exhausted most of the time, but not bored and certainly it wasn’t a waste of my talent.