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SoftyPink n GloriousRed

…. the colours of life with my kids

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Musings..

This parenting jig is a tough one. We’re at a stage.. somewhere in the middle of a transition from the old order into a new one! I believe I’m among a generation of parents who are trying their best to conform to the new norms. Who are among those that listened to their parents and now, are compelled,by circumstances, to listen their kids as well!! I’m sure many would agree with this and relate to the fact that we’re wondering if we are the parent(s) or our kids are.

For one, the confusion arises from trying to be a friendly parent. From the outset, I wanted to be a friendly parent. But in one of the parenting counselling sessions at school, we were told to be a parent and a friend, not a friendly parent. Guess I’d got it all wrong. I went into the friend mode first itself and now its become quite difficult to be in that mode when all I want is to whack senses into the young one! Ha ha.

She adores me no end and for her there’s nothing more she loves in the world than being with me.At the same time she’s her own person, which is good, but not when it comes across as uncaring and insensitive to others around her who care a lot about her.

I feel good about the fact that she’s open with me about everything that goes on, but definitely not that great when she openly defies me on every single thing that I try to discipline her on. I honestly value good manners, ethics and a certain amount of discipline, more than anything else. But when these are not uppermost on her agenda, it annoys me no end. I wonder if its just her age or if its me that’s not doing it right… Sigh!

 

 

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Of new happenings..

2016 has been an year of some significant happenings in my life! One of them being the purchase of a new car on a whim .. almost ! And, driving on the highway for the first time ever!! Yep.. in my new car, to Mysore … this Dasara  🙂

It was a pretty decent drive, with not overly crowded roads as we started a day earlier than the designated holidays. There were of course a couple of heart stopping moments but I was able to handle those and move on . It was a sort of coming of age! … an important milestone for me where driving is concerned.

While I liked the experience, I would still love to not be in the driver’s seat just so that I can enjoy the sights, click random pics and absorb the view to the maximum 🙂  Which brings me to the point of this post…

As we neared Mysore, we were greeted by gorgeousness of the evening sky!! The splash of colours was mesmerizing and I had to gather all I had to keep my focus on the road ahead. Here are a few pics clicked by sis who was in the back seat of the car. The pics dont do justice to the view that was… but are precious due to the fact that they invoke the lovely memory of that evening… being welcomed to the city that always makes us happy to be there!!

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See the hearts floating in the sky? ! 🙂

 

Play

From the drafts…

As I might have mentioned before, I have not been a physical activities or a sports type person for much of my life. That kind of changed a few years back when I started learning dance. Then came yoga which I learnt/practiced for some amount of time, followed by swimming classes last summer.

This year, with onset of spring, we started playing badminton. The kids were excited and sis too had been wanting to start a routine. And so we bought the rackets and cork and played in the evenings when we could make time. It was fun and felt really good to be able to play. Ammu and Adi loved it too. But sadly, it all stopped when summer vacations began. Increase in work load and the soaring temperatures didnt help a bit. We did carry the rackets and had a few fun sessions while at Ooty though 🙂

Amidst all this, badminton tournament was organized at office and in a totally offhanded manner i said i would participate and my friend nominated my name as a partner. It felt weird but also interesting. I even went for practice one day and managed to get nominated for mixed doubles too! Its another matter though that it got postponed and I’d have to withdraw nomination as I had other plans in place for the new dates. Worse part is the tournament got postponed again due to unavoidable reasons.

Now, that the weather is cooler these days I’ve been thinking of playing during the mornings but sadly that hasn’t materialized yet. I’m hoping we’ll get to it next week onward, and continue for the rest of the vacation – a week and a half! Also, hoping that I’ll find partners and be available to play on the tournament dates that will be finalized. Keeping fingers crossed 🙂

Update: Haven’t been able to get to playing yet. Maybe this week onwards… 😐 The tournament dates are finalized and I hope I’ll be able to participate.

K is for kisses :)

Yes… tiny tiny sweet ones ! The kids are growing up and there’ve been lots of changes. they’ve become more independent in their day-to-day activities and are learning newer things each day. But what remains unchanged through all this are the kisses n hugs!

At times… there used to be tiny wars too! On who kisses first and so on. Thankfully, this seems to have been resolved between the two 🙂

No matter what the mood , when leaving home or when entering home, the kiss has become customary… a ritual of sorts. Feel blessed and a sense of peace prevails…such is the power of the tight hug n the sweet kiss 🙂

 

J is for Jamun :)

Jamun, the fruit has been one of the favorites during our childhood in Belgaum. We knew it as Jambul then, and we would wait eagerly for the cart vendors to arrive with the ripened jambul. These were usually garnished with a bit of salt in order to enhance the taste. And, the fact that it coloured the tongue purple is what made it very popular with us kids. I guess these were available locally and hence we were able to get nicely ripened ones and they were inexpensive too.

Jambul. Pic from here http://www.vivekamexports.com/agriculture/fruits/jamun

I have this memory of a particular Jambul tree in the area we lived. We used to go there and look at the fruits and wait for them to ripen. Of course, there was no way we little kids could get hold of those except for those that would fall from the tree occasionally. One day after a downpour, we went there and found many of the ripened ones had fallen and we were delighted to collect those! Small joys of childhood !! 🙂

Once we moved to Mysore, these fruits were hard to come by and we never got the same yummy tasting ripe fruits again. It seemed the fruits were procured from outside and hence were not the same as locally grown ones. Once we moved to Bangalore, these fruits became a rarity, not widely available and generally expensive. We feel excited when we see Jambul, but somehow, its never the same as it was during childhood. Sigh! I know I’m sounding like my granma but the fact remains 🙂

An internet search on Jamun, brought this up… shows that Jamun has quite a few health benefits too!

While on the topic of Jamun, I’m reminded of the Gulab jamun, which is a very popular dessert here. Not only that, its the most popular sweet dish in our household too. Everyone loves it, especially the ones made by me 🙂 The kids generally do not like store bought Gulab Jamun and they make special requests on their birthdays and during some festivals too!

I, of course prepare Jamun using ready to use mix and not the traditional method. But I’ve learnt how to make them real soft and to get the sweetness right. The consistency is what makes it a hit each time! With everyone at home and with friends at my workplace too 🙂

Interestingly,  Gulab Jamun is named after “Jamun” or “jaman”, the Hindi-Urdu word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape… the one I’ve referred to earlier 🙂

Gulab Jamun. Pic from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulab_jamun#/media/File:Gulaab_Jamun_(homemade!)_bright.jpg

Linking this to the letter J at ABC Wednesdays – 18th Round.

 

 

 

I scream.. You scream…

We all scream for Ice cream!! 🙂 yayy!!

Summer’s here with soaring temperatures and so are ice creams and fruit juices to cool us down. Ice cream is much loved by everyone in our family. I’m famously known for gobbling up my share and borrowing from sis always during our childhood days 😀

Dad especially encourages me to have ice cream every now and then. Me being a poor eater, he thinks I’ll at least fare better with ice creams since it is a favourite! Not only that, he even encourages me to have an ice cream to put an end to the cough! I’ve been prone to colds and coughs for sometime now and when i catch it, it just stays on for a prolonged period, making me week and scaring everyone out !

Last year, we gorged on ice creams regularly. Naturals, was a favorite haunt that we stopped at after our dance class every week! Sister’s m-i-l also indulged us with her special ice candies made using seasonal fruits like watermelon and mangoes !! what fun 😀

This year, we hope to get D trained on preparing ice creams, ice candies and different types of juices. Its all very doable now, thanks to www. She’s geared up for it too. Hope to click some pics before we gobble up everything, like we did last year 😀

Some favorite memories that involve ice creams

  • Mom getting me a biggg scoop in a cone and it falling off as a bus whizzed by! Ohh what a disappointment for a lil girl of maybe 5!!
  • Me and sis walking to mom’s office after lunch, during our summer vacation, just for ice creams from the ice cream vendor who would pass by at that hour!
  • Me and sis going for a stroll at night during our vacations, just to buy and savour icecream on our way back 😛
  • Family visit to the ice cream parlour which was one of its kind in those days! Mde us feel very special 🙂
  • Picnic…Rainy afternoon, ice cream with friends, under an umbrella..
  • Dad egging me on to have more servings of ice cream at the Ashoka, New Delhi. Dinner was at midnight after the event and dad felt we would be better off eating the yummy ice cream 😀
  • Sis craving for mango ice cream when she was carrying Adi and we checking everywhere for it. It used to be great relief when we used to finally find it and get it for her.

Linking this post to letter I at ABC Wednesday – 18th Round.

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Head vs Heart

Crossroads in life are all about this. Logic, that is, the head says one thing and your heart says another. There’s no doubt that we’ve all gone through such situations. The answer or decision is comparatively easy at times. At other times, its a real tug of war and we struggle to get out of the dilemma, we want to be sure we’re making the best possible decision.

The past year has been one such for me…

At work, I’d been feeling complacent and indifferent. I felt uninspired to give my best, attributing it to the fact that I’d been doing the same kind of work for a very long time. I thought about the alternatives that I could choose but was unable to come to a decision as to what to choose, since I would be a newbie in either fields/domains.

With the beginning of the new year, the confusion sort of cleared out for me. I chose neither of the options that I’d been mulling over. Without my realizing it, i’d begun to take more interest in my work and I got very positive feedback which made me realize that I have vast experience and expertise in my current field and it makes no sense to abandon that and start something afresh. It made me look at my work experience in a new light and lo! I made my decision to continue my work with more zeal so that it’ll help to move towards things that I could do without giving up everything that i have learnt so far.

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At home, I was having a tough time with Ammu as she was becoming more and more complacent towards her studies and was becoming very ill tempered whenever things didnt go her way. I started feeling really hopeless sometimes. I’d been telling her since a long time that I would send her off to sister’s place as b-i-l is the only person she would listen to and comply with. Now, it seemed inevitable. And, sis and b-i-l too were getting concerned, for me as well as her.

In Nov last, when sister’s in laws went back to Kolkata, they took Ammu home with them. It was a very tough choice for me to make. on the one hand, I wanted her to understand that I want the best for her. I wanted her to focus on her studies, which would be possible as sis would be around in the evenings, unlike me. On the other, I did want to stay away from her, even though its just 10 mins away! Finally, I just decided to go with their decision, and I’m glad I did that.

Ammu is now much more regular at studies, is helping her chitti [my sis] with some household chores. Even though her outbursts have not disappeared altogether, she is slowly but surely becoming more patient and sensitive to others. She misses me a lot and is waiting for vacations to begin so that she’ll be back home. The countdown has begun!

As for me, I’m thankful  for all that has happened and I hope the fruits of this effort remain. Especially amazed at the willingness of sis and b-i-l to take on this additional responsibility in the midst of their own hectic lives.

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I’d been having to deal with dilemma on another front too. A personal one, that seemed to go on and on with no resolution in sight. By mid Nov, things seemed to sort out all of a sudden and by Dec end, I had a feeling that 2016 would be different. That things would change and move forward finally. Things did move forward but in a completely unexpected way and in a totally opposite direction! I was stumped… at yet another surprise from Life!

Just when I thought I got my answers, life showed me that indeed Life is in control, not me! I realized that I had the answer all along but had been reluctant to accept it. The situation did not go away, but with acceptance, things seemed easier to deal with. There is a kind of emptiness and the sometimes nagging thought but I’m more at peace with myself for having made up my mind to stay aligned to my nature and to give up on things that did not give me joy.

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U is for Unity

I love to share my thoughts here but when it comes to current hot topics, I mostly refrain from writing about such topics that somehow become controversial and stir up the hornet’s nest! The fact being, I realize that I neither have the enthusiasm to defend my stance nor feel the necessity for it.

However, in  backdrop of the current crises in Chennai, I feel vindicated about my thoughts and feelings! Writing it down here so that its a good reminder, for whenever I choose to revisit this again.

Recently, there was this whole brouhaha over rising intolerance in India and much has been written in defense of and against something that was said by a prominent celebrity. It was appalling to see how people chose to read in between the lines as per their convenience and also spew venom based on assumptions, many of them even without having heard to the original interview.

Of course people have a right to their opinions but its only fair that they base their opinion after hearing the original version themselves. Not based on others opinions, and starting from a point of prejudice! It was scary how social media was being used to propagate something that didn’t warrant such a huge coverage. However, the saving grace was this speech. Loved how the Maharashtra CM summarized this whole episode and the vicious circle of media playing to the gallery. Sadly, this one did not get as much publicity though.

Cut to the present crises; Chennai put through 3 storms, unprecedented rains and flooding! Heart wrenching scenes of submerged roads, houses, vehicles. Complete lock down. People suffering without water, electricity, food, medical aid and a host of other issues!

And, amidst all the chaos, the resounding and re-assuring rise of unity in this hour of despair. People, in general, opening up their hearts and homes, going all out in helping one another. Trying their best to provide succor irrespective of the religious, political, social identities of the sufferers. This is the true India, true humanity!! I love it that the people all over, in support of Chennai have united and the so called ‘Intolerance’ is being trumped hands down!!

Wonderful, isnt it!This united stance, reaffirming our faith in humanity above all !!

This is my blog post for the letter U at ABC Wednesdays. Thanks to Mrs Nesbitt who thought up this wonderful meme 🙂

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M is for ..Mamma centric!!

Well.. that’s the term coined by dad to describe Ammu 🙂

I’ve always been amazed by the fact that Ammu is so very devoted to me! It also perplexes and frightens me sometimes..the intensity with which she celebrates me, celebrates her time with me!! Especially fascinating when she declares that she wants to be with me always.. All.The.Time!

She has many friends and thoroughly enjoys her time with them. But keeps on repeating that she would rather be with me all the time!

She says she just wants to go back into my tummy!! I’ve never heard of any other child saying this 🙂 And, we joke about how it would make me appear , now that her height is about 3/4th of mine..

She always sits beside me, almost presses against me, irrespective of the amount of space available in the room! The joke then is ‘shall we get some fevicol??’ 😀

She loves to climb onto me.. even now!! Each morning she wants me to pick her up from bed and carry her till the bathroom 🙂 Makes me think of the Kangaroo and the baby in its pouch!

She is my most ardent admirer … Be it the food I cook, the clothes i wear, the art work I make…I love the way she expresses her admiration,openly and whole heartedly. Same holds good for cticism too. She is my biggest critic, though the smallest in age/size 😀

Study, play, activities… she always wants me around and wouldnt take help from dad or anyone, or agreed very reluctantly if I insist and thats why the term originated 🙂

Some lil things that are the biggest things in my life right now! I want to remember this and cherish it all for as long as it lasts 🙂

P.S: This post was written for the letter M at ABC Wednesdays. But missed posting due to connectivity problems at my place during the weekend…

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