A and C

My son got his first C in a report card. C for IB (HL) Physics. He was with me when I opened his report card. His first question to me was

“Are you disappointed Mom?”

I laughed hearing him ask me that. Why would I be disappointed when I got more Motta than anyone else I ever knew?

I told him ” Son, an alphabet in your report card doesn’t make me disappointed. Getting a C is not the end of the world, but I am a bit surprised as to what happened? that is all”

“Mom, I didn’t think Physics will be this hard” he replied.

IB itself is really hard and HL (Higher level) is the hardest level in IB and he has to take HL Maths, Physics and Chemistry. ( also known as the suicide trio) So I guess he is in for a lot of hard work.

Meanwhile Yaya got A for English, which she gets every single time. It was a bit surprising this time because she hasn’t read the books she is supposed to write the essay on. Instead she read Spark notes and wrote her essay based on that and still got A.

Initially I thought perhaps I should really tell her what she is doing is wrong.

But then I remembered walking to the bookshop near CMS college the day before my pre-degree exams started. I was looking to buy the Azizi guidebook and the Appachan wearing a soda kannadi climbed on top of the wooden chair, to grab the last copy he had that was on top of the shelf. He dusted the book with his palm and  told me ” Kochey, the syllabus is changing next year, so don’t buy this book now” and I replied ” Appacha, this is for the exam tomorrow” I think it is nothing but miracle that he didn’t fall off the chair. I didn’t read/study the text book and only read the guide before my exam. So how can I tell my daughter to read her text book?

And so we collect A’s and B’s and C’s..some with hard work and some with no work !

Sibling influence.

When I was in Singapore in January, as I was walking down the streets in Little India, l saw a familiar head above all the other heads and my first reaction was to duck and hide. Which I did. That familiar head belonged to my youngest sister!

My mother’s modus operandi when she raised us was this ” your grandmother and her sisters were like karakka ( I have never seen it, but apparently the seeds in the same pod face opposite direction), you have to remember always that you only have each other” and then she did all that she can to make us fight with each other. Guilt and anger were the end results and It was a horrible thing to do to your children.

I know my mother is not alone in this. A friend tells me of his recent trip to India. He wanted to do some special Pooja at his family’s ancestral temple and requested his mother to help him pay for the Pooja and even sent her the money. Apparently, the Pooja is done on a special day and he took leave from his job as a senior Consultant and went home. The day of the Pooja arrived and he went with his family to the temple and the Poojari said under whose name the Pooja is booked. My friend’s younger brother’s name. I am not sure what possessed his mother to do this. No, the brothers don’t have similar names and she didn’t get confused as to whom she was booking the Pooja for, she remembered the naal of the younger one and had insisted that he follows the family to temple that morning. Clearly she knew what she was doing because from the time her sons were small, she has been turning them against each other and has always done things like this to ensure that the bothers will fight with each other. My friend is mad because it is not cheap to fly from here to India and the fact that he is the one who wanted to do the Pooja and he is the one who paid for it and his was not the name the Pooja was booked for or done. The end result is that my friend is not taking to anyone in his family and his mother is the cause of all this drama.

I had hoped that one day my sisters and I could overcome my mother’s manipulative games and at least have some sort of connection with each other. But the truth is, it is not going to happen. I refuse to have anything to do with my sisters. There comes a point in life, when it is easier to duck and hide from your sibling than make an effort to say a simple Hi.

History has a way of repeating itself and I worry often how will my children treat each other as they find their own niche in life?

My only consolation is that I never turned my children against each other.

Revolving door

I know I have written about this so many times..and perhaps it is beginning to sound boring, bear with me.. It is not easy for me and writing is the only way I can cope.

My house now has a revolving door like the ones you see in big buildings that lets a constant stream of people in and out..at least I feel that way.

Before, I was at least  like a door (wo)man in control of the door as to who walks in and who walks out and when.  Revolving doors don’t have a door (wo)man

Kids are off school for two weeks term break.

Yaya spent the past few days revising and this morning she left for camping in the bushland with few of her friends. One of her friends is driving. Which means, if she can drive, then she can legally buy booze. I could have said No when she asked me if she could go camping with her friends. If I did, then I would have had to give her my reasons as to why she can’t go. I would sound rather  silly if I told her ” I don’t want you to go, because I think your friend will buy booze and you will drink”

I always believe in being honest with my kids and my excuses didn’t cut.

I know all the kids with who she is going. But I still worry about her safety. I worry she wouldn’t know how to deal if anything goes wrong. I worry if she will have cell phone reception where she is staying so she can call for help if anything goes wrong..

Before she left, she mentioned ” Mom, I can’t wait to swim in the waterfall”

“What waterfall?” I asked. It turns out that there is a waterfall where they are staying. So I told her ” observe the water, if it ever turns muddy, get out of the falls immediately, it means there is a landslide upstream and a huge load of water is coming your way”

“How do you know all these Mom?” She asked

“Life experiences, muthey” I said and I wondered, have I imparted all those knowledge that my children would need to survive in this world?  I know it isn’t possible and they have to go through life just like I did and learn it themselves..and I think that is one of the reasons why most Indian parents are scared to let their children do anything.. I understand that feeling of helplessness where you just want to protect your children from harm. The difference I guess is that, I want my children to fly out of the nest..I want to make their wings stronger, not clip them.

Till Yaya gets back, I will chew my nails and worry about all the things that can go wrong.. and the door of my house will continue to be a revolving door..where my children learn the art of  leaving the nest  and hopefully  one day they will return..

April fool

I am sure I wrote this story before, but I felt like telling it again. 🙂

My grandfather ( maternal) was a man of few words, but come  April 1st, everyone at home, including the maids woke up with a paper pinned on their clothes that said “April fool” and every year he told his family the best April fool prank that was every played on him.

He loved going for early morning walks and one day as he was walking, he saw a large crowd near a bridge. Curiosity got better of him and he went to check it out. There near the bridge was a cashew tree with a branch over the bridge and on that branch was a young man who threatened every few seconds “Njan ippol chadum” ( I am going to jump off) and the crowd would plead “Chadalley” ( Please don’t). Police came, collector came, every one who is anyone came..all pleading with the man please don’t jump. After a while the man grinned and told the onlookers..”Happy April fool’s day” and climbed down the tree.

Day before night, I heard my son tell his sister “guys watch out for tomorrow, mom is sure to prank us”

In the morning, they checked their clothes first, to see if I pinned a note. They gingerly took a sip of the juice. ( I salted it once). They opened their cupboard carefully. ( I hung a plastic snake once). They checked their lunch box. ( My first successful prank was to send a maggi mee noodles packet uncooked as Yaya’s lunch. I send hot lunch to office separately. Yaya still talks about the shock she had when she opened her lunch box. I also sent empty lunch container for all three with a note ‘gotcha’, but organized tuckshop for them). Before their left, they checked each other’s clothes, just to make sure that I hadn’t stuck a note on the back. ( I  stuck a note on my son’s jacket that said “please tell Toothless that the secret code for today’s mission is Sky is blue”. Everyone including his teacher told him that and he had no idea why everyone was telling him that.

“Guys, I am not well, I am not playing any pranks today” I told them.

“We don’t believe you” they said in unison.

“too bad” I replied.

When they came back, they checked their room etc again..and then they went to wash their hands and screamed..( toothless got home first, then a bit later my youngest and Yaya was the last to arrive, so they all got fooled)

I had partially closed the tap with tape, so when they opened the tap, they were sprayed with water..

The look on their face.. Priceless.

Happy April fool’s day.