Thursday, May 21, 2015

New life

May 18 : Exactly a month back, we landed in Dubai bag, baggage and all. I quit my job of 18 years, sorted the stuff I had accumulated in my own apartment of 10 years - gave away many, threw away some and packed some - and rented it out furnished to a newly married couple. A tribute to the days we started out as a newly married couple with only our suitcase of clothes. Populating our house with essentials had taken over a year. Furnished houses on rent were few and far between then and the  one that came my way slipped away as I dilly dallied.

Kids started school on the Sunday after we landed. That the week begins on a Sunday is something I have to get used to. In the process I tend to skip Tuesdays as I eagerly await Thursdays.Every week is an eager wait for Friday when we can sleep late into the day, have brunch and go for an outing.

However, my kids are getting disenchanted with Dubai which they had much bragged about for a year in Chennai. For one, they find the shift from Tamil Nadu State board syllabus to CBSE here tough. Especially Hindi and Arabic. I tell them not to lose heart citing my own example - a similar struggle in Tanzania in secondary school. Getting up early morning to catch the school bus at 6.30 am is not their cup of tea either. The bus takes an hour to beat the traffic and reach school during which time they can catch some sleep, other kids willing.

Thirdly, they have realised that Dubai is not a vacation anymore. The last two trips were fun when they visited malls, parks and played with their cousins.Now they dont get to see their cousins except during the weekend. But the bonding with cousins is the best part of their Dubai life. They play, fight and patch up. The youngest of them, all of 5 years, tells Ash: "I like your face very much, can you take my face and give me yours?" That's probably the best compliment Ash has received!

The mother is getting into cooking mode doing some on the spur breakfast and lunch dishes in an hour's time.Having had cooks for nearly 10 years, it has not been easy. The fact that I cant give much junk food and the hubby craves traditional food adds to my woes.

An hour at the gym is the only other exercise that I get now. But I am enjoying this break from work.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Mira spends a lot of her time playing cooking and teaching games. Here are five of her playschool wards taking a nap.

Monday, December 01, 2014


Yesterday was the Sunday School annual examination for the kids. One of the answers was that Christians hope to enter a new life in the kingdom of God.
"Will I go like this to heaven?" Mira asked me as I explained heaven.
"No, only your soul will go. Your body will be left behind on earth," I explained.
"Then I dont think I want to go to heaven!" she said.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


A long-lost friend from my early college days is in Chennai on an official trip. We caught up wit the news of some 20 years just as my kids were going to bed. Both wanted to talk too, going by tradition - another long-lost friend I had met in Dubai became more their friend than mine in her new avatar. So they thought it was their legitimate right to talk to whoever Amma's friend is.
"What is your friend's name?" Ash asked.
"Oh! Sunita Williams!" exclaimed Ash. He has just learnt in school about this first Indian woman who went to space. "Has she gone to space too? Will you ask her to take us too?"

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Jokes apart

Today morning as I was getting out of bed, Mira called out to me from the drawing room: "Amma, where have you kept my leave letter?" She did not go to school yesterday as she had fever and needed to submit a letter from the parent stating the reason.
I told her as I headed to the bathroom that I had kept it atop the gramophone. She did not know what it was and searched high and low. But my worldly-wise maid who grew up in a Kerala of gramophones and radios, spotted it for her. 
"Is this thing called a gramophone?" I heard Mira ask in wonder. To her, it was another of her father's acquisitions, a "pattupetti" which we never used.
"Yes," the maid said expansively. "ഗ്രാമങ്ങളിൽ ഉപയോഗിച്ചിരുന്ന ഫോണ്‍ ആയതു കൊണ്ട് ഇതിനെ ഗ്രാമഫോനെന്നു പറയുന്നു (it is called so because it was used in the gramas or villages)".
She helped me start my day with mirth and much laughter! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Father's day out

The dad came down from the desert for 15 days after missing the kids' first term vacation by a month. He called each of his offspring aside and told him/her privately that he had come just to see him/her. It made them happy and proud of themselves initially but when it got repetitive, my outspoken and bold daughter said: "You keep telling me that 'I came to see my darling daughter' and you tell Ashwin that 'I came to see my darling son. I think you came not to see us, but Amma!"
Moral: Kids today arent easily fooled by sweet talk 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Past talk

The blog has become a thing of the past  in this age of facebook and whatsapp and whatnot. The kids are whatsapp savvy too, snatching the phone from me to chat with their dad, granny and Liza aunty (my friend they met in Dubai) - mostly as recorded audio. I often tell myself I should write about them but put it off and then forget.
A term has passed in school and they havent passed them in flying colours, so I had to meet some of the teachers on Open Day.  Ashwin was talkative and distracted at times in class while Mira was meticulous yet slow. So I am making it a point to ask them what they did in class each day. Yesterday as me and Ash walked to the hair salon to get his mane trimmed, I asked him casually if he still talked and disturbed others.
"So what do u talk to your friends in class?" I ask him.
"How can I remember something that happened some time ago?" he retorts. " Can you tell me what you talked to Liza aunty on April 1?"
I am speechless.