I passed

I passed my GAMSAT  ( http://gamsat.acer.edu.au/gamsat-australia) exam yesterday.  Similar to MCAT that allows me to study medicine in one of the local universities.

This was one of the hardest exam I have ever written mostly because I have not studied Maths since my 10th and Physics and Chemistry since pre-degree. I also have never written English essays as part of my basic education. Mine involved rot learning what the teacher wrote.

I had to buy Physics and Chemistry text books to study basics. May be it was that my pre degree time, I was confused having to learn everything in English, but for the love of Spaghetti, I don’t remember ever learning about chemical bonds..all I remember is learning about shells, valence electrons etc. plus a bit of organic chemistry, balancing eqn etc. It took me months to understand basic chemistry and then I joined  MIT ed ex courses online to understand Benzene, ring structure etc.

I approached one of Yaya’s teachers for English help and I met her every Monday after my work and she taught me to write English essays. She didn’t want payment and I didn’t feel that is right. So I actually rushed home after work, cooked dinner for her family, packed it and went to meet her.

Physics, one of Yaya’s friend’s older brother helped me. ( he is 22 years old, half my age ! ) and those questions he couldn’t, a friend’s husband took  half a day off from work the day before my exam and  helped me.

My children made innumerable cups of coffee.. borrowed books for me from their school library, collected past QCAS question papers, so I could practice comprehension etc..

And I got up everyday at 4 am to study till 6 am, rush to make breakfast/school lunch for the kids..most evenings by 9, I was so exhausted and often I questioned my own sanity. But I always wanted to work as a doctor and I felt no one could ever tell me I couldn’t do something. and if you are like me who really wanted to do something, trust me when I tell you this, there are people out there who will help you..and some of them can be half your age, but they will help you. The world still has a lot of good people.

Right now, I am not really sure what to do. I will finish term 1 of my masters next month. I already have the highest GPA ( 7 here) for all the exams/assignments I have written to this day. I don’t want to stop it  when I could finish this in a year and win the vice chancellor’s award.

But the crux of the matter is.. I passed GAMSAT.



Today’s special

To prevent myself from dying slowly due to boredom I subscribed to Netflix while recovering from my surgery. ( Netflix only came to Australia last month). I am not really a big fan of TV, except Mentalist. In fact when we were planning our last trip to US, Yaya suggested that we visit studio zone in LA where Mentalist is filmed so I can meet  my heartthrob ! Even my kids noticed my love for Mentalist 🙂

My Kids watch a bit of cartoon after they come back from school. I don’t think they really see anything, but sitting in the living room with a snack and watching something mundane on TV is the way they decompress after a hectic day at school. After an hour or so the TV goes silent.

I prefer to read than to watch TV, but since I couldn’t go to the library, Netflix was the only solution. I am sure they have algorithm that tracks people’s name to their ethnicity, because their suggested list for me contained Indian movies.

One such movie was Today’s special. Since Madhur Jaffrey was acting in it, I thought I might as well watch it.  Madhur Jaffrey is a cook I respect a lot. She taught me to cook Indian food. Her recipe books were the first Indian recipe books that I felt was written well without any complicated steps. ( side note. When I look for a recipe online, it drives me insane with the ones that have a million photos..that shows onions being browned in various shades of doneness, followed by another million photos of each ingredient being added, then more photos of stirring…. I am sure you got the picture! That is one of the main reason I still prefer recipe books that are well written with few photos)

Anyway, I made myself a pot of tea and prepared myself for wasting another hour of my life that I will never get back. ( Usually after watching some of the Mallu movies like Casanova, that is how I feel)

I have to say, I haven’t watched a movie this good in a while. Naseeruddin Shah was awesome, so were the rest of the cast.

If you haven’t watched give it a go.



Yaya wrote her SAT last week. The night before her exam, she came to me and asked “Can I sleep with you?”

“Sure” I said.

I watched her print her admissions ticket, pack her pencil case etc before she came and laid down next to me. “Mom, I am scared” She said

“I know exactly how you feel” I replied ” And I told her about this letter a teacher in US wrote

“The people who create these tests and score them do not know each student the way I do, the way I hope to, and certainly not the way the families do.

“They do not know that some of my students speak two languages or more. They do not know that they can play a musical instrument or that they can dance or paint a picture. Doesn’t that matter more? They do not know that they are someone who friends can count on to be there for them or that the sound of their laughter can brighten the dreariest day in the homes they live in and in my classroom.

“Those who design the tests do not know that some of my students have travelled to a really neat place and come back alive with stories or that they even know how to tell a great story and bubble over with excitement to share!” ( Kimberly Horst)

I told her, “as far as I am concerned, you are a great student. You speak three languages fluently, you are a talented artist and a good basket ball player, you are a wonderful daughter and a  big sister for your brother and sister, Yes the test score will determine your college admission, but that is only a tiny part of your life, there is much more to life than an SAT score, so you go there and give your best shot, whatever has to happen, will happen”

I don’t believe in last minute studying ( biggest irony, when I only studied the very last second) So we went to bed early. On the day of the exam, she told me ” Mom, I think I want to join the circus”

“That is fantastic” I told her,” you are naturally talented as a clown, you don’t even have to pretend to fall, you just need to walk on absolutely flat surface and you still will trip and fall” ( Yaya is a walking disaster!)

Her brother was awake and he showed her some meme about falling down and they laughed.

I bought all of Yaya’s favourite chocolates the night before, so she had Cadbury’s chocolate for breakfast. ( When she is stressed, she won’t eat anything)

As we left her brother hugged her and told her ” Go get them tiger”

Her test center was an hour’s drive from my home. Every few minutes Yaya said ” Mom, I am scared, I don’t want to do this, I want to join the circus” And I replied the same standard answer. ” You will be fine , it is just a test and remember you got high distinction for ICAS maths without even trying to do the test” ( I forced all my children to do all the ICAS and other similar tests, to prepare them for this moment, and Yaya wasn’t very happy..so instead of actually doing the test, she guessed all the answer for her grade 7 ICAS maths and was shocked to get the high distinction)

She wrote the test, for her English essay she created fictional scenarios to suit her essay. Maths she didn’t know few of the questions.

First part of SAT is out of the way.

But I still worry.. when she goes to Uni, how will she cope on her own? Who will buy her chocolates? Who will make her laugh, so she won’t be stressed? ( yes I know, I survived my uni days, but still it is my job to worry about my children 🙂   )



No, I am not learning to type..Just in case you are wondering.

It so happened that few days ago Yaya was going out to meet her friends for movie and dinner. She wore a tank top and jeans and since it is almost winter, she was also planning to wear a jacket over the tank top.

When my son saw her, she didn’t have the jacket on and he asked her, “Are you going out wearing that?” in the most annoying condescending tone.

Before Yaya killed him, I thought I might as well interfere.

“What is your problem?” I asked him.

“Well, if she is my daughter, then she wouldn’t be allowed to go out wearing that. I have only one rule. BBB. No daughter of mine will leave the home showing Butt, Boobs or Belly” ( apparently he heard that over the radio..some other father had said that was his rule and my son felt it is the golden rule to raise daughters)

I am one of the most liberal mothers you will ever meet. I have never been a moral police. Where did my son learn to be a moral police?


Here I am.

After driving my children, partner, friends and the rest of the human and animal kingdom nuts for the past 5 weeks, I decided that I better go back to Uni, to save myself from starting world war 3.

I have learned that I am such a pain in the posterior and that I am becoming just like my mother.

It was a simple thing. Laundry. I can’t carry the laundry basket ( You aren’t allowed to carry anything heavy till you completely recover) and my children were not home. My friend had come over to check on me and helped me to carry the laundry to the clothes line. Being the nice guy that he is, he also chipped in to help me hang the laundry.

Normal people would be grateful.

I have separate hangers for various clothes. I also like to hang my clothes on a hanger with the tag at the back and the hook of the hanger facing to the left. It makes it really easier to see your clothes when you stand in the closet because the front of your clothes on the hanger faces you.

The end result. My friend will never help me hang clothes ever again.

My mother has various obsessions with clothes. She is the only person I know who can wash clean clothes because they were on your bed. ( You know when you try various outfits in the morning and didn’t have time to hang them back in the cupboard..they will be in the clothes line when you come back in the evening).

As a child growing up, I often wondered why can’t my mother be a bit more understanding and do the things the way my father wants her to do. And now, I have learned I am a strong follower of my way or no way.

I feel sorry for my kids. ( that they will have to cope with me when I am an old woman and wear purple hat)