Of R's first stage performance and adios to his first school

March 19th was R's annual day at school. The event was a sort of culmination of the year round of school and fun activities as the school closed for the academic year on Friday with a potluck party. The theme for the annual day was "festivals of India". Something I came to know when the invitation cards were sent out a couple of days prior to the event.

The practice sessions had begun a month earlier. I, like many other parents, was very curious to know the song on which R was to perform. But, the little man knows to keep his secrets. No amount of prodding, direct or indirect questioning lead to any clues. All he would proudly display was the smiley and star caricature on his fist, that the teacher would draw as a mark of appreciation for dancing well. On a few occasions, he did tell me that he is dancing ( to my horror) to dhinka-chika. The song would change the next day to (more horror) why this kolaveri di? I decided to refrain from asking him any further, lest he added sheila and munni to the brigade!

Of course, I knew in my heart that the actual song cannot be anywhere close to these item numbers since the teachers had asked for a dhoti and kurta as the costume dress. But, I had to wait until the D-day for the mystery to unravel itself.

The event was very well-organized and the efforts put in by the entire staff clearly shone through. The program started dot on time. There were environment or class-wise performances representing each of the major festivals that fall during the year in chronological order. It was such a pleasure to see the kids have a good time on the stage without a trace of inhibition. While, it would have been too much to expect complete coordination and cooperation from these toddlers, it was heartening to see all of them enjoy themselves. And, not a single kid cried!

The song selection was apt. Before the start of each dance, we were shown videos of the children from that particular environment at work and play on the screen projector. The program was interspersed with some interesting questions thrown at the audience. Every parent had their eyes only for their child on stage and we were no exception. R and his group performed for Krishnashtami and the song was "mach gaya shor sari nagari re" from the movie Khuddar (80's). We simply loved the simple and cute steps that befitted the innocent age.

The following Saturday was the PTM which lasted exactly for five minutes for R.  It seems, he is doing very well and he's smart too! What was there to discuss here, then? There were no concerns except that we were told he does not like to colour. Well, I knew he has taken after the mother in this aspect.  My heart really felt heavy when we bid goodbye to the school and the teachers.  The memories of his first school will always be special and I'll surely miss this place.

The Oath of The Vayuputras

The wait was finally over when I ordered the book from Flipkart and had it delivered sometime last week. With a length of around 600 pages, this was a book I knew would taker longer to finish. I never considered myself as a great reader but I was definitely better. Over the years, especially after marriage and motherhood, I have become a slow and poor reader. Necessary and unnecessary distractions keep me away from a book and unless the book is an absolute show-stopper with a well-written and etched out story line, I can take my own sweet time to complete it. Also, too many characters and details fog my little brain and I tend to gloss over those very details to focus on the larger picture!

Back to the book, sadly, it was not just the length that slowed the speed. The build up of the first two parts seemed to lose steam in the third and the parts containing the revelation just dragged on. Also, I am plagued by a certain doubt that is surely nagging many others too, "why is the book named the oath of Vayuputras???" As a tribe after whom a book is named, the Vayuputras surely did not get the needed footage and fame in the book and did I miss anything that alluded to the oath in the book?!

On the good side, after meandering for about 200 odd pages with lackluster interest, I found myself warming to the book. The parts that contained details of Sati's battle were especially riveting. Despite the many misgivings, the message contained does come across that evil need not be a mighty force. It could be anything: even good, that goes beyond control. Also, when the leaders of a nation put themselves before the interests of the country and its people, calamity is not far away. Even the side fighting against evil has to suffer the effects of the brutal war.

The creative blogger

is what Keirthana, who blogs at The Undefined, thinks of me. I am truly honoured that she thinks so and has passed on The Creative Blogger award to me. Thank You, Keirthana!

I started reading Keirthana's blog a few months ago and love the way she writes. She comes across as a no-nonsense person in her real life and her honest writing reflects her personality. I do wish she blogs more often, though.

Of late, I am being tardy at picking up awards and doing the tag. Recently someone passed on some award and I royally forgot all about it. To the extent that now I don't even remember who passed on what. My apologies to whoever it is. I am sure you understand that it was totally unintentional. So, before this tag also gets buried in the busy life, I thought I should take it up. Keirthana has been sweet enough to not add a long list of questions as a tag. 

Her question is a simple one: What comes to your mind when you hear the word 'Beauty'?

A lot comes to my mind, including the cliched saying that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Sadly, of course, the conventional form of beauty still clinches the deal in the outside world. The appearance makes the first impression and the general notion is to cash in on that part of the advantage, if you have one. The worst perpetrators of this notion are the media and Ad makers. The Fairness cream Ads and its likes seem to be a slap in face of the modern woman who is trying hard to defy the conventions, yet cannot fight against being weighed in the archaic scale. While there is no harm in looking good or trying to improve your appearance by way of treatments or usage of cosmetics, the underlying aim and fantasy of achieving that perfect skin, colour and look at any cost needs to be broken down.

Beauty cannot be associated with skin colour or conventional looks. Little girls need to be taught to respect themselves for what they are from within. They need to be empowered and educated to take the inward journey to recognize their true worth. Little boys need to be taught to look beyond facial features. They need to be educated and empowered too-to respect women for what they are truly worth. When, and only when, this happens, the gender equation will balance out and the shift from outward beauty to inner goodness will happen.

While, I am not nominating any particular blogger(s) for the award, I wish to pass this to all the lovely writers out there. Thanks, once again, Keirthana for a lovely prompt.

Delicate parenting

is something I come across many a time.

I  understand that as parents of toddlers who cannot stand up for themselves when placed in an unfavourable situation, it is the duty of the guardians to support them and teach them to stand up for themselves. However, the important part here is teaching the child to hold his/her own rather than conveying the message that the parent/guardian will fight the child's battles or that every little thing that does not go in the child's favour needs to be taken seriously.

But, these are exactly the things I see some parents do. The child falls down mildly and the mother rushes to pick the child up (even if the child is old enough to pick himself up) and smother him/her with concerns. Or, the child is hurt due to a playmate's playful prank and the mother sure enough flies off the handle. Now, if the child is really hurt, I can understand the anxiety on the mother's part. More often than not, the child is simply testing whether the mild discomfort (in both the examples mentioned) needs ratification. Once ratified, the message conveyed is very clear to the child: things are supposed to go my way, else create an issue out of it and mom/dad will make all Ok.

It really irks me to see a child turn into a complain box each time something goes awry in play or create a ruckus because of a slight nudge or push by a fellow mate. Even more irksome is when the mother rushes, consoles and pacifies the crying child and admonishes the other errant kid who in all probability was engrossed in play and never intended to hurt.

As a parent I very well know that to see your kid being overpowered by his peers or be at an unfavourable position in play is not a pleasant thing. The first instinct is to use your adult judgement and power to intervene and balance out the situation. But, in my opinion, by doing so, you are denying the child the chance to assess the situation for himself. Instead of empowering the child to fight for his due right, you are crippling him by doing his job for him.

I have been in both the situations when R has been at the receiving end and giving end. Both are equally unpleasant situations to be in. In the first one, I try as much as possible to let R deal with the situation by himself and only when situation seems to go out of control, do I intervene. In second of course, I jump in right away and admonish R for hurting another child, even if it was all in play. But kids will be kids and there will be some rough play too. It is very draining to be alert and on your toes all time to see if another kid will be nudged, pushed or pulled by your offspring.

Sometimes, unless the play is trending into dangerous grounds, you have to just ignore and let the kids be.

Of movie, celebrations,good food and some musings

Only someone who has been living under the rocks would have missed knowing that yesterday was the International Women's Day. The husband and I, on the other hand, celebrate this day each year without fail. Not because the husband is extremely conscious of this day and chooses to make it special for his lady, but because, we chose to get married on this day!

So, the celebrations included watching Kai Po Che and a lovely dinner. I had read the book- The three mistakes of my life on which the movie is based- a few years ago and don't really remember how much I liked it. So, cannot say whether the movie is better than the book or not. All I can say is I liked the movie. Some lovely acting, good cinematography, realistic depiction and no melodrama.

The Savvy-Savannah Sinclairs was a new restaurant we tried out for dinner and were not disappointed. While the Ala-carte menu seemed a little limited, the food was really good.

This year we completed six years of married life. Don't know whether to make a big deal out of it or not. It is after all the quality time spent together that matters. Talking of which, I find it difficult to remember when was the last time the husband and I sat down for a quiet chat. The background always seems to have the little one chattering and clamouring for attention. Especially and more so when he sees us settle down to talk!

Talking of numbers, this blog crossed 50,000 views yesterday. I began the year with the resolution to read, write and travel more. The first quarter results doesn't seem very promising. I haven't been writing as much I thought I should be. The enthusiasm and creativity seems to be fading away. On the reading front, I got my hands on the third book of the Shiva trilogy-The Oath of the Vayuputras and I'm on it. This makes it the third book in the past three months and while it may not sound like an awesome statistic, it makes me feel a little better. I am doing better than before. I have, sadly, nothing to update on the travel front.

So, folks, that's all the mumbo-jumbo from my end. Wishing you all a happy weekend!

When FB and google beckon

I've fallen into the net,
laid by the mighty internet
FB and google rule the roost
while I follow post after post

Dishes wait and so does lunch
I'm a busy person, online forever
Juggling many a browser,
time for me is, sigh!, a crunch

Typing away furiously one day
the milk overflowed and dried away
the curry was a little salty
and the husband remarked a bit nasty

Said I, "Oh, what do you know
I've an image with fans and follow
Who will run the Facebook
if I turn into a cook?"

Hubby looked a little scared
for,the woman he married
seemed a little mad
I smirked a bit and added,

"I need to go, 've tasks on hand-
 there are comments to be liked,
some pending 'group' invite.
Then there are posts to be shared,
which also need my expert advise"

I can be your friend on FB,
share your jokes and add repartee
But, beware I could spill the beans too
and click the 'un-friend' tab next to you!"

Hubby made a hasty retreat
there was no way he could beat
the world wide web entirely
for, it houses the world, virtually!