About Giving Presentations

So the smartass that I am…I volunteered at R’s school to give a presentation on Petroleum and Plastics after R was telling me how her teacher plans to introduce them to the topic…

I went up to R’s teacher and said that I have worked in the industry for some years and would be okay sharing some of my ‘knowledge’ with her students if she is fine with it..While I was all expecting her to go ‘Errrmmm its okay’ and all that she was like ‘Yes yes yes..please do, we would love it..can you do it next Friday?’

RM: What what?

Teacher: yes yes..next Friday suits you?

At this point, you could practically hear my mind whirring about what should I say..and then I was like ‘okay..the maximum I will make a fool of myself in front of my child’ It cant get worse eh?

RM: yes yes..I can come on Friday morning

Teacher: Great..see you then..

RM: oh wait..

Teacher: What?

RM: I have R2 with me..so I guess I cant do it

Teacher: oh that’s alright..you can just get along..she can sit with the other students

RM: well..teacher…did you notice..she is 2…only 2 years

Teacher: That doesn’t really matter…she will be fine…

So I took the plunge…While I have given a couple of presentations to clients and all..giving it to students is a different ballgame in itself..

A couple of things I was clear was

  1. Keep it short
  2. No videos..they could check out videos in their ICT class if they were really interested

So I spent three days in agony..cutting, scratching, writing, rewriting.. (Gee..now I know how professional writers feel) and created a 8 page presentation…I sent it to my man of all solutions..my Dad

I called him up and told him that I had sent him the ppt..giving him a background..

Prompt comes his reply in an hour’s time

Dear Kid, 

I do not know how much time you will have but the ppt is not very great. your language is ok for two slides but goes to graduate level in the last few slides.’

And he gave me some 20 pointers on how I could improve it..then he gave me loads of different websites (I am supposed to be a researcher *facepalm*) which I could use..

So I took his comments and reworked on some parts of the ppt…Then I showed it to RD..RD being RD was like oh well..yaa…maybe you can change this and you can change that..think from a 3 grade student’s mind..yaada yaada…

I again, took RD’s suggestions and made the changes…

I sent the revised ppt to teacher and asked her if she thought anything needed to be changed..She mailed back saying it was excellent 🙂

Anyways on D-day, I went to R’s class…R was a bit skeptical but was a bit preoccupied with R2 being around

So I started presenting….and I realised I loved it..I enjoyed every moment of it..I had the kids asking me questions..I had them repeating stuff after me..I showed them my paati’s 65 years old aluminum tin and my mom’s brass pakodam maker..I showed them how pellets look like and I showed them the extrusion process of plastic making by using playdough..

In short, I think I was decent…I thanked the teacher..R2, thankfully, cooperated by sitting on R’s lap…and the students seemed to have assimilated some stuff..

I came back home..

R’s reaction – Well..you were good Amma..I did enjoy what you taught..

Now this, my friends..is the ultimate compliment anyone can get!

The teacher asked me if I could give the same presentation in two other grade 3 classes…I was like what..yes yes..of course…

And, so that is what I did yesterday…And again..the kids seem to enjoy it..there was loads of discussions..questions asked and answered and everyone seemed to like the ppt…

So there…..I think, giving back to the community in form of sharing knowledge is the coolest thing..and I hope I get opportunities to do it again and again 🙂


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Where are you? You were my best friend…I could be with you anytime anywhere and anyhow!

I am the one who is known to have fallen asleep standing in a crowded BEST bus holding on to the pole in the bus and had to be woken up by the conductor to collect money for the ticket!

I am the one who slept for 20 hours in the 22 hours journey in the train, with RD at the bottom seat (we had side upper and lower) wondering if his wife was alive or not!

I am the one who fell asleep midst discussions of an exciting holiday even as things had started to get heated up!

I am the one who needs proper 9 hours of sleep to function like a human being in the morning. I was always a cranky human who would snap any everyone if I did not get my requisite amount of sleep!

I am the one who can fall asleep anywhere, anytime and anyhow and in any position. Whether I am lying down, sitting, standing..it really does not matter! I can sleep..

But for the past 1.5 years, I have been more awake than sleeping in the night. Reason?

R2’s Eczema!

The poor kid gets up 4 to 5 times in the night complaining of itches and hurts and no matter how much cream we apply, she is scratching away to glory and crying and whimpering in sleep 😦

I am awake most nights either applying cream or just trying to soothe her skin with my cold hands.

We have tried everything under the sun for her. Steroids, cold baths, wraps, putting moisturizers 3 times a day, seeing specialists and what not! But to be honest, I see no improvement at all. Steroidal creams seem to work for some days, but as soon as we stop applying them, the itch is back. We have tried all sorts of things and it all boils down to the fact that there is a history of asthma in the family and she just has childhood eczema.

R spends her time in the car, helping R2 rub the itchy parts of her body and soothing her telling her ‘Its okay, R2, try and forget the itch’. Or she tries to distract her with her songs or shows her the beautiful sights outside. Its so heartbreaking because when RD and I refuse to itch her skin (we say we will apply cream), R2 runs to her sister and says ‘R, R, can you please chori (scratch) me?’. R gives me this pleading look to let her do it for her sister because she cant see her sister in pain 😦 It breaks me heart, really!

I am hoping that this ‘childhood’ eczema goes away soon. I havent sleep in ages..and I am waiting for the day when R2 can sleep through the night too! I am worried for her, to be honest. She has started to resist afternoon naps (which I can understand, she is growing up!) but she does not get enough sleep through the night. I hope this does not affect her development in any way 😦

I had enough. I feel frustrated. I feel helpless. I feel awful. I just hope this itching leaves R2 alone and she can enjoy one of my favorite things to do. SLEEP!

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Behind That Fire Place Door!

This actually happened sometime in the end of March. I am writing this now because I just remembered this is something I had to write on the blog! I mean such an exciting life I lead, I have to record it, eh?

So one day, R was at school. R2 had taken an unusual nap in the afternoon. She usually is bouncing around like a flubber ball. Anyways, I digress. So this was one rare afternoon, where I was actually sitting with my laptop, searching for jobs in peace. And I heard a sound.

I looked around and then shrugged my shoulders, because the house which we are renting is an old one and often we hear birds on the roof and mice below the floor. So I basically did not bother. Then I heard it again. Khrrr khrr khrrr…I looked to see if R2 was up and playing a prank on me. Then I remembered, she is only 2. I doubt whether she would be so smart..but knowing her, it is not impossible! Anyways, I looked around..and went back to job hunting..until, I heard it again..and this time, I realised it was coming from the fireplace.

Now the fireplace has not been put to use since last winter. I have no clue what is behind the glass door of the fireplace and honestly, I have no interest in it as well. But now, the sound was loud and clear. My heart started thumping! Was it a possum? Was it a wallaby? Wait, it can’t be a wallaby. They cannot climb into the fireplace..can they? Oh my God…it has to be a snake…definitely a snake..I could hear the khrrr turning into hissss….

I messaged RD.

Yaar, there is something in the fireplace making some strange sounds. I am so scared.

RD: Where is it? In the roof or inside the fireplace.

RM: All sorts of sounds are coming from inside the fireplace. I had told you to clean it up na!

RD: Ok. Don’t be scared. Ask our M Aunty (she is the house owner and our neighbour) to come and have a look. She will know.

RM: But she is not there!

RD: How do you know?

RM: Abey, the car is not there. Gosh! I will just ignore till you come. Please come home as soon as you can.

RD: yes yes, I will.

RM: oh my God, I think it is a bird.

RD: Arey, I can’t do much now.

RM: Oh my God, oh my God, I can hear it fluttering

RD: May be we will need a professional to check it then.

RM: I don’t want to do it alone. When you come, we will open the fireplace together.

RD: Wait, why don’t you open all the windows. Then remove the grill of the fireplace and finally open the fireplace door.

RM: RDDDDD, meri idhar Faat rahi hai! I cannot do it

RD: Why are you scared of a bird?

RM : Because I am scare of birds, and animals and reptiles

RD: hahahahahha

See, 11 years of marriage and the guy laughs at me. Laughs..

Then after 5 minutes he messages me again.

RD: okay, just spoke to M aunty. She is coming. She will help you get the bird out. Or the possum or the snake. (And he adds a smiley face to it)

RM: What…snake!!! OMG!!

and I hear a knock at the door. M aunty who is 70 years plus walks in and asks me what the matter is. I am trembling and she gives me a hug and says don’t worry. I said, what if it is a snake?

She throws her head back and laughs and says it cannot be. Snakes cannot climb chimneys. What does she know, hmpf?

She opens the windows and calmly opens the door of the fireplace, and a little bird just flutters and flies out, as I scream loudly! I am such a scaredy cat really!

She tells me not to worry and helps me shut all the windows and asks me if she should make me a cup of tea!

Honestly, it is super embarrassing even as I write this! Here is a lady twice my age, who is calmly going around as if nothing as happened, while I was trembling all the while!

I thank her profusely. And message RD.

RM: It was a bird re

RD: Photo bhej na!


And then RD sends this message

This came from M aunty.

“Your wife is gorgeous. Absolutely made my day that she could envisage a snake climbing up the chimney. “

Sigh! See..she found me so funny, too!!!!

But to my credit, when RD was not around, last to last Sunday, we heard another fluttering in the fireplace. I boldly open the windows and opened the fire place door (well after trying 10 times not to be scared) and out flew the bird and I screamed loudly again!

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The Weird Lady In A 3/4th Saree

Yep. That is me! Trust me, I don’t know how I end up in such situations..Its like I am a weird situations attracting magnet!

So RD is away and I agree with my dance teacher to give a 3.45 minutes performance..Firstly, that is stupid! If there is no one around to take care of a 2 year old tornado..you should just not agree to things, eh? But no, I thought I could do it all…I learnt my lesson the hard way!

First it was the practice..Since it was three of us doing it, coordination was important..and for every practice I took R2, she managed to do something or the other, which was not really appropriate..but let us leave that to it..

On the D day, last Sunday, my teacher and the other lady who was dancing with us, told me to take it easy and come by 11 AM..Actually, I believe they were just too polite to tell me not to get R2 early, because they were too scared to have her around as they were dressing up!

So I reach at 11…the dressing up is crazy…We are late…and R2 decides to jump on the bed, get some juice on the floor, eat sultanas and hide them under places where no human hand except a 2 year old’s can reach..and all that..R is doing her best to take care of R2..but really what can a poor 8 year old do in front of a 2 year old whose sole aim in life to ensure her mother loses all her hair by the time she turns 40!

We are late..my make up is a bit..ahem! lets not worry about that..I am not the make up person anyway..I tell the others that I will meet them at the venue…Have you ever driven in a saree, with a full Bharatanatyam hairdo? Well, if you have, then I salute you…Because I did that, I went crazy..

First, putting R2 into the car seat…it is like a battle..I can feel my saree coming off from the side..but I pretend all is well..I am ready to spank R2 who is holding up her tummy and screaming at the top of her voice, so that I cannot belt her down..I have a bag full of food, a bag full of ghunghurus and a jacket and…don’t ask..R manages to calm R2 down..and I get into the car..

At 14 C, I am sweating, my eyes are watering and I am ready to drive away and never return..

I reach the venue…There is no parking. I call my teacher. She says, they have special parking for the performers..Where? She does not know! I give up.

R is saying Amma park park park..I am like but where…

R: Amma, I am bursting


R: too late ma, I am bursting just park somewhere..

I drive around, searching for both a parking and a toilet..I get the former. Get R2 down from the seat, who is busy looking at how many stones are underneath the car. Now carrying R2 in my waist is out of question, because I am decked in full Bharatanatyam jewellery and I am already feeling my saree coming off…BTW when you wear saree for dance, you wear it 3/4th with a pjyama or tights underneath..which looks great on stage but definitely looks weird if you are walking on the street..

But hey, who cares..all I want now is a toilet…I search and search and find the coordinator who directs me to the toilet which is on the OTHER SIDE of the lawn…R is running, I am carrying three bags in one hand and pulling R2 with the other hand, who is now busy trying to find twigs which are the same size as her finger!

I am literally dragging her while R is running around like a headless chicken trying to find the toilet..Ammaaaa….I am bursting she says at regular intervals…

A man looks at me in pity and directs R to the toilet…Imagine a lady wearing a 3/4 th saree, decked to the brim, carrying three ugly looking bags and dragging a toddler with her who clearly has her priorities set elsewhere…well, you can burst into laughter NOW!

R manages to get into the toilet in time..and then R2 decides she wants to wash her hands…which is a good habit, except when your mom is wearing a saree, and has jewellery all over her…I lift R2, who instantly digs her hand into my necklace and pulls it so hard, that I can feel it creaking at the back..its not even my necklace..its my teacher’s and it cant break eh?

Anyways, I somehow, manage to get R2 to a friend (who came in like God! thanks G, you are the bestest!) and wait for the performance..

Now, folks who have seen me, know that I wear soda bottle glasses…I am practically blind without them..But honestly, in dance, its just better to take them out..not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because if you jump, your glasses may fall off, eh? The big advantage, of course, is that I can not see the audience, which means, I dance as if there is no one around, hehe!

So, as the performance starts, I say the speech and then start to dance…and I HAVE MY GLASSES ON! I can see everyone..darn darn darn!

So as my next involves me sitting down and falling on Mother Earth’s feet (we are doing a Pushapanjali) I do a Rajnikanth and remove my glasses and lay them on the grass, hoping the other two ladies do not step on them…I am smart enough to leave them near the flowers so that they can see it distinctly..I can see people laughing and smiling..Hey , a girl got to do, what a girl got to do eh?

After the performance, I send the video to RD.


Seriously man, your wife just finished a 3.45 minute performance, and all you care about is her glasses..I mean, really!

Trust me, such things happen only to me..whether its running after R2, getting a toilet for R or dancing with my glasses on the grass, I have done it all!

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R2 isms

R2 has suddenly started speaking clearly. From the babble girl she has become this girl who is very articulate about what she wants and likes.

If I have ever mentioned that R was a brat at 2.5 years, R2 makes her seem like an angel. R2 is very headstrong, naughty and can be very very tiring to be with. Yesterday R and I went crazy trying to control her at the supermarket.

Which brings me to this

The tellers are wearing bunny hair bands in celebration of Easter. R is taking all the stuff out of the basket to the teller while R2 is moving around in circles like a bunny high on carrots. I am just this flustered mom who doesnt know what to do! And then R2 goes to this another teller and gives her a brilliant smile and asks

‘Are you a cute bunny?’

She being my daughter has the loudest voice ever and several people hear her. I look up mortified. R, thankfully was busy (or she would have gone red with embarassment) The lady looked her and said ‘Thank you, thats a lovely thing to say’ and gave her a hug!

I did not know how to react really!

The other time I tell someone ‘R2 is such a brat’

R2: No mom, I am NOT a brat. I am a girl.

Yaa right!

One other time I took her to the library. R was busying checking what books she wanted while R2 was running around in circles. Then a girl who must be R2’s  age or slightly older came in. She looked at R2 in amusement. R2 went to her and said ‘I am a dinosaur. I am here to scare you’ I was like stop it R2.

The girl however, did actually get scared of R2 and ran to her mother. I went to apologise but her mom was sweet about it!

This girl is turning all my hair grey, really!

She invites worms, lizards and snakes to her parties and wants sambhar rice to be served with cupcakes. She loves insects and wants to be a spider when she grows up! 

At this point, I GIVE UP! 

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Of Being A Proud Mother

I am very reluctant to praise my kids. Not that they are not praise worthy, but somehow, I think I would rather have them know that I am proud of them, than let the world know that I am proud of them. So we have instances like me telling R that ‘Hey you did a great job girl, I am proud’ instead of me telling a friend ‘Hey, my daughter is really good at reading, etc’

It may seem a bit weird, but hey that is the way I am. However, today I will make an exception. Today, I want to announce publicly that I am very very proud of being R’s mother.

Folks who know me well, will also know how I used to visit a Ganpati temple every day near my BEST bus stop, when I was pregnant with R. and I would pray for a child who is healthy and has hair which is as lovely as her dad’s. Seriously. My mom still laughs at me. “RM, you pray for a kid with lovely hair, ahhahahah”. Well what does she know? It is such a pain to have curly hair, hmpf!

Anyways, when R’s hair turned out to be exactly like RD’s – soft, silky, jet black, I was so so thankful… When R2 was born, we insisted R to cut off her hair, because I was finding it difficult to manage her hair and R2 and stuff.

Then we came to Tasmania, and for an year and a half, we did not cut her hair. Which made this like this!


The picture does not do justice to it really. IT was long, straight, silky and absolutely gorgeous looking!

Then our friend L came over for tea to our house one day, and we started talking about cancer patients and how some kids lose their hair due to the chemo sessions and they need good hair for wigs, etc etc. R was not really a part of the conversation, but she has this habit of eavesdropping once a while (hmpf!)

I am not sure what triggered this really, but she started asking to cut her hair. I was not ready to let her do it, especially since it was growing so well. RD put his foot down and said ‘no cutting hair’ She let it at that, but she started once again, a few weeks ago. About how, I never let her keep her hair open (who has to fight the tangles, eh?) and how she finds her long hair a pain during the swimming session (what rubbish!) and all that.

We had a long conversation and I warned her at least 10 times (no Amma, you wanted me at least a MILLION times, she says) that the hair cutting was HER decision and I will not accept any crying after that. She came back from school one day, and said let’s go.

Now, I firmly believe, that at the age of 8.5 years, a child’s view should be respected, as long as it is not something devastatingly wrong. If a child needs to be independent, letting them take some decisions is a first good step to it. And this girl wanted to cut her hair. Nothing wrong with it. When I weighed the pros and cons, I realised that

  1. Hair grows
  2. She is so young that it will grow back anyways
  3. Cutting her hair means no more morning fights of you-dont-know any hairstyles and stuff
  4. She gets to sleep 10 minutes extra

All in all, it was a win win situation. So I agreed. She called up RD and told him. RD was like NO NO NO! I told RD to chill and let her take her decision.

So we went to the salon and asked that lady to cut her hair. R had already asked me to speak to the lady on whether her hair was good enough to be donated and if she could do the cutting the right way. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised! I asked her ‘is that why you want to cut your hair? To donate it?’ She pretended it wasn’t and it was just tired of having long hair. I was so proud secretly!

Anyways, so the lady agreed to cut it the right way so that it could be sent for donation and she also gave us the right place where we could post the hair. Midst all this, RD left office early and met me at the salon in hope to dissuade his daughter from chopping off her hair ehehehehhee! But he came too late. Of course, he was so so proud that she wanted to donate it, that he went from NO NO NO to I am so proud of you girl!

So she ended up with this!


And RD was kind enough to post her hair. And two days ago, this arrived by mail!


I must admit, there are times when I feel like spanking the girl, but then there are times like this, which make me realise that she is turning out to be a generous soul!

So proud to be her mom 🙂

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And So I Danced After 12 Years On Stage….

I did my first and last total Bharatanatyam performance after 15 years of training with my teacher, in January 2006, just a month before I was getting married…I have done loads of performances in annual days at school and college, but my first official performance was just a couple of weeks before I got married, which was the first one my teacher had organized..the driving force behind this, of course, was my cousin K because she had agreed to sing for our class students…and we could not thank her enough..she did a fab job singing and we all had fun doing the entire ‘Margam’ on stage!

After that, I did perform at my own wedding (yaa yaa..I am crazy that ways) and at my cousin’s weddings and my brother’s wedding..but it was more for family and friends and nothing hardcore Bharatanatyam..It was more fluid and fusion..and on movie songs..

I joined a Bharatanatyam class last year end, when I found a teacher in the next suburb to where I live and she took classes on weekends, which meant that RD could take care of the girls while I spent an hour in the class…While the teacher is younger to me (by 3 years, hehehe) I enjoyed learning from her..honestly..it was more of brushing the basics for me than anything else…Its funny how you remember stuff that you have learnt in childhood but forget stuff that you learnt 5 years ago!

So when I came to know about this multi-cultural festival being held, I asked my teacher if we could participate and she agreed..I filled the forms etc and we got a time of 10 minutes for our performance 🙂

And my teacher decided that we could do a Tillana..now a Tillana is that part of the dance in which there are no facial expressions involved, but is extremely fast paced and is usually done at the end of the dance performance. After so many years, I wasnt sure I could do a 5 minute tillana…but I was like..why not! Nothing wrong in trying..

Starting with 5 seconds we went ahead and did the whole 5 minutes dance with regular practice..Trust me, I used to practice at random times..before lunch, before dinner and what not..R2 thought I was mad at times..Amma what you doing..she would ask me as I would break into beserk moves and poses at weird times..

But I persevered and finally I could actually perform for 5 minutes without feeling I was dying!

On the day of the performance, my teacher and I had to do each other’s hair…while I have shoulder length hair so teacher could tied it up with the false hair and all (a thousand hairpins later!), my teacher had shorter hair..which meant, the I-dont-know-a-thing-about-hairstyles me had to actually get her hair in place with the rakodi and kunjalam and what not..It took us 2 hours to just get the hair done..the saree was half an hour and one of my teacher’s friend who is a make up specialist did our eye make up..Trust me, I have never put so much make up in my life..not even when I was getting married! Infact, when I got married I had only eyeliner and lipstick on! anyways, so after a million safety pins and thousands of hair pins..we got ready to go on stage..

and I loved it..I loved doing my performance, I was grinning like an idiot through out the performance..I did not worry about the audience, I did not worry about forgetting and I did not worry about anything…When people say dancing is a good spiritual experience, I think this is what they meant!

I had folks telling me I looked too fat and I had folks telling me I could have doing a bit more of sitting down while dancing…But honestly, it doesn’t matter…I am fat and I cant change it..but I loved loved loved dancing..I had a wonderful set of friends who came to cheer me up just for that 5 minutes dance and again, I cant thank God enough for the wonderful support system I have built in Tasmania…

I am not sure if I will go onstage again, but this experience, I will cherish all my life..at the age of 35, I managed to do a 5 minutes tillana without stopping or losing my breath! Life is fantastic 🙂


That elaborate hairdo!!! 

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