Monday, August 20, 2012

The pursuit of perfection.

As long as I can remember, there has been this need for perfection.

Sometimes this is a need in me, and at other times, more often than I like, it is how others would like me to be.

Perfection in an image, in perception, in love.

Perfect mothers, perfect friends, children, spouses .

Perfection even in expectations.

That's when things begin to distort themselves.

And things fail, one after the other.

Perhaps that's the moment to take a peek at the gorgeous butterfly and remember how that came into being.

And see the miracles that are found in everyday life.

And if you don't find that butterfly, maybe you should just close your eyes and take a deep breath. Mist that glass and clear the distorted images away.

and smile.

Because everything can be perfect if you only let it be.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cards and more

This post is a long overdue one.

The 9yrold loves to create stuff. Sometimes he does it by himself in a creative spurt, and sometimes it is brought on by me.

In March, during their spring break, he had this brainwave to sell handmade cards. I sat down with him, and we drew, cut and pasted. I wanted to show him how we could up-cycle certain things available at home and create something useful out of it.

We made the card envelopes from the paper shopping bags  of most branded products. The cards were also made with existing bits and pieces of paper. Of course it was done in many sittings because his attention span and my back decided to play truant.

Once it was done, we had to decide on pricing. I was amused to hear him confidently declare to a potential customer, that his Minimum Retail Price was Rs. 15/-. He gave discounts to those who bought two or more and a special discount to his closest friend nearer home.

Thankfully the people who did buy were encouraging, and for quite some time, my son could be seen dreaming aloud about starting his own card business! He also has a backup plan. If the card business fails, he plans to sell my crocheted stuff.:))

Frolicking Fish
Frolicking Fish (his creation)

The bag envelope

A paper present

Flowers and colors

I love this very original creation :))

A card he made for me, 

Which ones did you like best? Do tell my budding childpreneur :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

a dash of color!

When we lived in singapore, I used to walk, as much as I could. From where I came from, paved footpaths and green grass is a rarity, so Singapore was a walker's paradise.

You suddenly chance upon a brightly painted building.

It instantly brightens up your mood.

These pictures brought back some fond memories.

Change of the right 'kind'

It was nearing the end of the academic year. My 9yrold son and his classmates were given work to do at home. They were asked to write little notes about each classmate on pieces of paper and bring it to class the next day. It was amusing and enlightening to see the 9yrold tackle this with great enthusiasm and dedication. Abhay was funny and nice while Saakshi ran well. Pranav was excellent in sports and Arjun was clever. He got stuck when he came to one particular classmate, U.

“I cannot write anything nice about him, Amma, In fact no one’s going to write anything good about him. He’s very very naughty.”

This boy U had been the subject of many a dinnertime discussion. How U refuses to listen to the teacher and how he troubles the children!

“Surely you can think of something” I prompted.

“No,no, he’s the same boy I’ve been complaining about. He troubles everyone, never listens, not even to ma’am. Ma’am has refused to talk to him so many times, but he just doesn’t change.”

“You will be very excited to see what everyone’s written about you tomorrow, I wonder how he will feel” I said, not wanting to push him, but feeling a little sad about U.

The next 15 minutes passed with him sighing loudly because he just didn't know what to write. Finally he wrote, “ I think you can really run fast if you want. And I know everyone would like you more if you really want them to’. 

The next day, my son came home with 31 colorful scraps of paper. His classmates had called him helpful, sweet, funny and kind. A few raved about his soccer moves. There were a few too who wanted him to speak softer (my ears thank you, lil ones).

I loved this exercise that the kids had to do. It was not indicated what they could write, but almost everyone found it within themselves to think up a nice comment about the other. And if you looked hard enough, even the meanest person does have something worth liking. He may just not know it yet.

As if to drive the point in deeper, that evening, as I strolled near the play area, I overheard this conversation between two children. “ I wish people were more kind”.

And this is precisely what I think we need more of: Tolerance, kindness, graciousness, a spirit of Ubuntu! 

What is Ubuntu, you ask? It is a philosophy of African tribes that can be summed up, as "I am what I am because of who we all are." In simple words, it means that we cannot function as isolated humans individually and that we need to be interconnected.

And I cannot help feeling that displays of kindness, are getting increasingly hard to come across. Even the playground is a mini battlefield, with a lot of ego play and rage simmering. 

If I were to change something, I would alter the mental makeup of people. A little more kindness, a little more of compassion, cut back on the bitterness and rage and add generously the spirit of oneness.

A good starting point would be to do a kind gesture everyday, it could be helping the elderly neighbour carry her groceries to her doorstep, or listening to a friend's woes  or helping out the maid with her kid’s admission or going about your day with a smile and chirpy  hello! 

Go on now, pick up that phone and speak to a person you've been meaning to, and make them happy.  

Now that is very very doable, don’t you think? It's definitely a time for change. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012


There was a tough month last year, where I was the designated nurse to everyone's pain, ranging from a near slip disc to a bad bout of viral.

Of course, since the Murphy guy was stalking me, I had to fall sick too, with a fever and the cold. Right in the middle of the14yr-old's final exams.

*PJ alert
Q: Why does the school schedule the final exams right before the christmas holidays?
A: That's to make sure we have truly truly deserved the holidays!

So I felt terrible, the cold had made me sound unintelligible and my vocal skills were being truly tested by the boys.

In frustration, I screamed (if you call that guttural noise which emanated from me a scream)

"I'm fed up. That's It! I'm going to the Himalayas"

"What did you say?" two voices screamed back in unision...

I hollered out again" You guys are troubling me so much, that i want to go to the himalayas"

The big boy, all of 14, came out from his study area and said in his trademark deadpan style "What? you are going to the Mallyas, YUCK, you should have better taste, amma!"


"Go back and put your nose back in your history books" I remember saying...hiding a smile.

It strikes me again, as it has been for the past few months, that this equation between us has changed tremendously. There is this ease between us, and it is a lovely change from the disciplining mode.Ofcourse he's 4inches taller than my 5.6 self and that by itself has tilted the balance in his favor. See, it makes it so difficult to see eye to eye with someone who is taller than you :/

There are times where we laugh at each other, and there are days when we are having a screaming match.

There are many times I have to remind myself that I am the parent here, there are days when it gets frustrating, especially when you feel like you are the only one talking, there are days when it gets scary, because you don't know whether what you are doing is the right thing or not, but most days it's pretty good.

And I wish to myself that even though some days seem too tough and disheartening to get by, the good moments far outnumber the sad ones and that we come out of it all, stronger and wiser from all that life doles out, in the name of teenage angst and parenting fundas.

Of course the wisest perspective sometimes comes from your very own miniature creations.

The nine yr. old recently consoled me with this gyan "Its okay amma, if I take AGES to do this, it is all part of the learning process!" *never mind that we were talking about homework here!

Once I picked up my jaw from the floor, I couldn't but nod vigorously in agreement.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ting-Tong, Just for me!

My doorbell is the most used object in my house. Especially in the evening, when my 9yrold is at home. He opens the door, waltzes into the neighboring house to pat their dog, and then 5minutes later he's at my door ringing the doorbell, again, to be let in. And the whole thing repeats itself 15 minutes later!

I need to get skates, answering the doorbell would be such a rolling affair!

There are many times it rings in his absence and I find out that the person actually meant to ring the neighbor's doorbell. I H.A.T.E that.

The other day, I was quite busy and had done the doorbell answering routine a bit too often to my liking. A friend was over and we had just settled down to some filter kaapi, when ting tong, the doorbell beckoned me. 

And I fling open the door, and the mail guy meekly hands me this! OH!LOOK it has my name on it!!


and It's just for me!

The only cards I get are the ones from my kids, and erm...theonein365daysfromG, so to say I was thrilled was an understatement. It was not totally a surprise, because i knew she was going to send me something, because she had asked for my mailing address a few days back. But to actually receive this beautiful quilled artwork and read the lovely message inside, truly made my day. 

Knowing that she has made out time to send out handmade cards, in the midst of a very hectic routine makes this even more special, and is quite humbling too.

In my excitement, I forgot to mention who the she is! Of course if you've read '34 Bubblegums and Candies' and her latest bestseller 'Life is what you make it", then you shouldn't be wondering at all. And if you haven't read them yet, then you should be reading them right now!

Thank you tons, Preeti, for the treasured message, for the warmth of the gesture and for the friendship it signifies. 

I should be writing more, but them words, they have a way of deserting me when I need them the most.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gasp....aack...Whaaaaaat? It's 2012? ALREADY?!!!!!!

Don't mind the histrionics, That was just my blog reviving to life every now and then.

Here's hoping 2012 sees more posts here, less status updates on Facebook, more news, less drama,  more ....whatever!

Like my 9yr young wise owl tells me not so subtly "Practice makes one perfect, Amma", I plan to take my own advice very seriously! *(btw that 'advice' was shot back at me when they proclaimed that my lasagna was not as good as my first attempt!!!! Priorities, I tell you)

This year, I hope to learn at least one new thing, and let go of something!

How about you guys?

and Yesss, Happy 2012 to all you readers :)