Tera Jhumka Re…

I love Jhumkas or Jhimkis as they are known below the Vindhyas!

They are my favorite form of earrings. But I rarely wear them, and I dont know why!

I have a few that RD got for me from India.

Anyway my current favorite pair are these ones.

They are actually very simple especially compared to those elaborate ones which are in fashion in India when I went in January this year. Inspired by Padmavati or some other film, the ones I saw in Bombay were BIG!

Anyway, so one day,during my India trip, I was walking home, after going to the library. My my parents now live in Kerala. A small quaint shop caught my eye and I went inside. There were hundreds of earrings and necklaces and what not in that shop. Usually I would just come out of such shops because they overwhelm me.

As I just smiled at the owner and was about to walk out, a whole bunch of young school girls came walking into the shop. With their bright pink and white uniforms, hair up in long chotis ties up with white ribbons and their huge school bags, aged 11 to 15, they filled up the shop. Suddenly, there was a cacophony of sounds and loads of giggling and laughing and pointing.

I decided to wait a while before walking out. Now my thing is, I do understand a bit of Malayalam but cant speak it. As I was standing there, I saw the shopkeeper lady take out a box of jhimkis to show to the girls. I asked if I could browse through in English.

The lady said yes and suddenly, I had this group of 5 girls advising me which one was good and which one was not great. They started off in Malayalam but once I told them I cant reply back, it became a combination of English and Malayalam. They must have made me try at least 20 different ones before concluding between them that this one pair was the best one.

The shopkeeper was amused that I was patient enough to try each one while the girls were super excited. Finally we decided on this one because (as per the girls)

– It was silver and black so would go with any colour dress

– It was not very big so I could wear it anytime anywhere

– It was light weight so wouldnt hurt my ears

– It was 35 rupees so not too expensive

It was so amazing that these girls managed to convince me to buy those jhimkis. Their sense of pros and cons, enthusiam to help a stranger and just that sheer joy in selecting one pair of earrings was awesome.

I thanked the girls profused and just when I was leaving one of them went ‘Chechi, next also come here and buy when our school finishes, we will help you select!’

Kids, I tell ya!

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From the Babe’s Mouth!

So we are waiting at the doctors for R2. She is fine but a check up for her eczema. She comes up to me and asks very seriously,

Mum, do you have to first fight with a man to have a baby in your tummy?

The book I am reading falls from my hand. What? I ask.

R giggles from the other side of the room.

What are you talking about,R2?

Look at the picture. First you fight and then you have a baby. Look.

And this is what I sawπŸ™ˆ.

Apparently, she saw the black shadow at the back and then saw the happy couple in the front and thought you fight and then you love the baby!

———

Today R2 told me while driving to school that her classmate, J had a baby sister.

Errr what R2, I saw his mum the other day. I dont think she had a baby in the tummy. kuch bhi phek mat.

No mum, he told me her name is St….

I go – Gosh, R2 what imagination you have. First someone gets a baby and then you even have a name for that baby. Please dont go about saying such things to people. Dont make people have imaginary babies.

R2 – I am serious mum. J told us during sharing time, he really has a baby sister.

I roll my eyes and go, Stop R2, dont make up tales please. She keeps insisting and I ignore.

And then I see herπŸ™ˆ The lady and her 8 day baby. I am like OH MY GOD! You really did have a baby. R2 was not imagining it!

She goes, yes I did have a baby but what???

I tell her about R2 in the car and she laughs her head off. Did you think I was so fat in winter? I am like no no, I always saw you with a coat on. Pretty much foot in the mouthitis for me.

Anyway, I apologise to R2 afterwards and she goes, Its okay mum, we all make mistakes. Its good to forgive people..

!!!!!!!!!

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I Love You

So R2 says the other day,

You know, mum, I really love you a lot.

RM: Why? (I know. Its stupid. Instead of melting into a puddle of love at this declaration, here is a mum going why!)

R2: Because you make really good sweets for me!

RM:!!!!

And as if that is not enough, the brat continues…Actually, I love R more than you.

Eyerolling amma asks why?

Because she makes better cookies and cakes than you!!!

I give up, folks, I give up!

————

I pick R2 from daycare, drop R for her hockey practice and then get R2 home since RD is picking up R after practise.

After a quick bath, I give R2 dinner. Nice sambhar, beans poriyal and rice with ghee, for those asking πŸ˜†

Anyway, R2 eats it all up. Asks for a cookie as dessert, which I give since its homemade and all that.

After 5 minutes, Mum, can I please have some milk?

I nearly drop the patram in my hand. WHAT??! I just gave you dinner!

R2: But my tummy is feeling like having milk. See, ask it. It is saying milk please!

RM: !!!!!

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Why Why Girl!

So R had band practise today and RD dropped her off to the location. Which meant that R2 and I went to school by ourselves.

As we were going in the car, a faint moon was seen in the sky. Since it winter here, the sun and the moon often compete for attention with their gorgeousness in the mornings and evenings. Anyway, so I excited point to the moon to R2 and she goes ‘Hmmm.. looking good ma.’

After 30 seconds

R2: Why dont the moon and the sun fall off the sky mum?

RM: Oh! I guess that is because moon and sun are out of the scope of the gravitational force of the earth.

R2: Hmmm!

After 10 seconds

R2: What did you say?

RM: Oh well you see R, the earth is pulling all of us down. So if you throw a ball up, it always comes down. But the earth can pull things down only up to a small distance in the sky. So the moon and sun are out of that distance so they dont fall on earth. Okay?

R2: Okay.

Again after 2 seconds,

R2: How did the earth and sun and moon and planets come?

Yaar, yeh astronomy ka bhoot kahan se aaya isko!!!

RM: Well, there are loads of theory behind it but I think the most popular one says that first there was nothing and then there was a big bang and then all the planets and sun and moon were formed.

R2: Who did the big bang?

RM: Well, I dont know but some people believe that there is a God who did it.

R2: Is God the people?

RM: Errrr I am not sure. I havent seen God.

R2: Why?

RM: I dont know.

R2: Hmmmm

After 5 seconds,

R2: So how did people come.

Now you can see how this conversation is headed. I was in no mood to explain Darwin’s theory to a 4 year old. Then I felt a bit guilty and thought I shouldnt be like this. I started talking about apes and people and how people evolved. I am not sure what she understood but again after 10 seconds she goes,

So that is how the Aboriginal people came into Australia. They were the first people of the land, isnt, mum?

There you go, folks. I think I have taught the 4 year old all about the first Australians, though credit goes to RD for playing that lovely ‘We are one’ song often for R2.

We ended up talking about mums and dads and who came first, child or mum.

I am not sure what the brat is going to be when she grows up, but she sure is a definite ‘Why Why Girl’ at the moment!

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Whatever I Want To Be!

R2 is having a shower. She screams for R. R goes running to the bathroom and asks what happened?

R2: Hey R, what animal do you want to be when you grow up?

R: hain? What? you cant be an animal when you grow older. You will be a human only.

R2: But I like animals. I want to be a seal when I grow up.

R: Duh! You cant be a seal.

R2: Mummmm…R says I cant be a seal when I grow up. But you said I can be whatever I want to be!

RM: !!!!!! while R rolls her eyes and walks away!

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The Worst 7 Minutes Of My Life Till Date…

The R family decided to venture out to mark the #NationalScienceWeek and we went to the Festival of Bright Ideas at Hobart.

What a fantastic festival! I have so much to write about it but before that I think I need to write about the worst 7 odd minutes of my life first!

So RD parked the car at a car parking and the four of us started to walk towards the festival site. Now one of the things that happens every Saturday at Hobart is the Salamanca Market. So this festival is quite near it.

The weather was pretty sad today. Rains, cold winds and snow on the mountain, but honestly, its Tasmania. We attend festivals no matter what the weather.

R2 refused to wear a jacket. She was wearing a sleeveless t shirt and then just a thin jacket over it. RD and I forced her to wear a bright pink puffer jacket and she carried a BIG BLACK umbrella with her.

She got a bit angry at us and was sulking. She was walking behind us and RD warned R and me, not to walk into the grass because it was very slippery. R and I started to walk on the path and I turned and asked RD ‘Where is R2?’

He looked at me and said ‘Oh isnt she behind us!’ We turned and she had vanished.

What followed was total chaos and I think I lost 10 years of my life. We were in the middle of Salamanca Market shouting R2’s name. I started to panic. R looked around and went in one direction while RD went in another. I started asking the stall holders. I was asking if anyone had seen a little girl in pink puffer jacket with black umbrella. Most people just looked at me as if I was insane. On a side note, I must have looked like one. Wild eyed and shouting R2’s name.

I went to a hotel and a group of 4 old people were sitting enjoying their lunch outside.

‘Have you see a little girl with a pink puffer jacket and black umbrella?’ I asked.

They said no! The waiter serving them asked me where I had seen her last. I said just a few minutes ago.

The old woman and the old man got up and asked me ‘how old is your little one?’

I dont know what happened but I broke down. Whether it was the tone of their voice or my palipating heart, I said she is 4!

Oh my God! said the old woman and 5 other people heard me. They saw me crying and all of them got up from their seats and came rushing.

What colour hair?

What clothes?

What did she wear?

Can she talk?

I am crying and answering questions. Everyone including the waiter start searching. Another group of stall holders are looking for her.

At this point, most people around me are searching for her. A couple of women around me are trying to calm me down.

I am still looking around and running in circles. After 3 minutes, I see the brat walking with her sister GRINNING widely. Can you imagine my shock?

I ran to her and hugged her and she asks me ‘Why are you crying? Whats wrong?’

The crowd started laughing. Like literally laughing. RD and I spent the next 3 minutes thanking everyone and apologising to everyone.

What amazing folks Tassie people are! Like really amazing. Imagine leaving your hot food and searching for a kid in the rains and cold. As soon she was found, they all told RD that they could absolutely understand what we went through. They were kind, understanding and absolutely non-judgemental.

  • Apparently, one of the stall holders at the market told RD to report to the police booth so that they could send out a call to everyone immediately. But as soon as RD reached there, he heard R calling him and he turned around to see R2 with R.
  • R said she thought where her sister could ‘go’ and tried to think like her. She saw R2 a little away to the left, from where we were talking to a lady who was asking her where her mummy was. R ran to her and R2 told the lady that R was her elder sister and R thanked the lady profusely and got R back to RD.
  • Apparently, R2 thought we had wandered towards the left and assumed thats where we were and walked in that direction. When she didnt see us, she just stood at a place looking around when the lovely lady started asking her about her mum.
  • ‘But mum, why are you crying? You cant lose me, I am fine’ were her words.
  • But the panic I felt in those minutes is something I will never forget. I was shaking so much. RD took me to a chocolate shop and got me some hot chocolate.
  • For someone with no maternal instincts, I felt so helpless in those minutes that I thought I was going to die. What horrible thoughts came to my mind! Did she get kidnapped? Did she come in front of a car? Did she get angry at us and run?
  • God! I could literally hear my heart breaking.
  • I am so thankful that I live in a place where people went beyond and more to ensure that I was united with my child. I am so thankful that I have an older daughter who kept her presence of mind and thought logically instead of running in circles like me. I am just so thankful to RD for being calm and buying me chocolate to calm myself down!
  • What a day! Phew!
  • More on Festival of Bright Ideas soon!
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    Dear Abba,

    Its funny how I called you Abba though you really weren’t my grandfather. My bestie N met me in grade 11 and the rest, they say, is history. You were N’s most awesome grand dad and I couldnt wait to meet you and Aji.

    You and Aji had come to Baroda to stay with N and you adopted me as your grand daughter. I dont remember either of my grandfathers but if someone asked me to describe my grandfather, I would, perhaps, end up talking about you.

    With your super tall height, the twinkle in your eyes and your calm looks, you often reminded me of Albus Dumbledore, without the beard πŸ™‚

    You were such an inspiration to me. You were the bestest of civil engineers having worked for YEARS at BARC. You were so humble about your achievements and yet, we knew that you were amazing.

    I remember you actually opened my eyes to what an amazing place Bombay is. You were patient to take me to the Dadar market and take me to my uncle’s house to Sion after I spent some nights with Aji, N and you at your house. You welcomed me with open hands and taught me about taxis and auto rickshaws in Bombay.

    Your taught a teenager to live life to the fullest. You encouraged my dreams and you gave me confidence. Your patience is legendary and I hope if I have grandkids, I can be to their friends, what you and Aji were to me. Thank you for accepting me as I was.

    I hope you are enjoying in heaven now with Aji because both of you belong together forever.

    Loads of Love

    Your adopted grand child

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    Its Friday Night…

    ….well, almost!

    I am waiting outside the hockey centre at 8 degrees cold for R to finish her match so that we can go home.

    I have made mathan errisery, inji puli pachadi and rice after a LONG time. May be an year or two. I barely use coconut in my cooking anymore because all I can buy is frozen coconut here. Tassie doesnt have very good fresh coconuts 😦

    I am waiting to snuggle into a warm bed and read my book in peace.

    In other news, I completed level 1 of Australian sign language (Auslan) and have started level 2 and I am loving my classes. We all communicate in sign language and its super fun to see ourselves expressing ourselves so vividly πŸ™‚

    The point of this post is pointless. I am just trying to pass time waiting for the brat 1 to come out.

    Okay, its time now.

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    Parenting Or Not?

    So R and I have been talking. Tell me something new. Honestly, the way my girls talk, I wish there wasΒ  a switch off button available at times. I have people in R’s swim class who know all about R2’s daycare and what all her mom cooks for her and why the world is not cold and what not. R2 keeps talking to them all the time. They are, of course, amazing folks who keep answering her never ending questions and are extremely sweet to her.

    Anyway, I digress.

    So R and I. We were talking that day. About a lot of things. R is pretty much aware of menstruation (Thanks to Mayil will not be Quiet – Thanks Sowmya! and Menstrupedia). We have had conversations on sanitary napkins, tampons, menstrual cups and cloth. We have spoken about how babies are born. She knows everything she needs to know at her age about sex and boys.

    We have spoken about coloring her hair.

    RM:No, you can’t till you turn 18.

    R: But, why not?

    RM: Too many chemicals.

    R: I will colour it red like that Aliya in Chak De.

    RM: I don’t care what you do after you turn 18.

    R: Okay, mom (Followed by an eye roll)

    She has told me about what her friends speak about boys. She asked me if I was okay if she had a crush. I said, of course. Everyone has crushes.

    We have spoken about kissing (she thinks its gross to kiss on the mouth, I said may be you will like it when you are older).

    R: Why would people do that?

    RM: Its a form of showing your affection, like cuddling or hugging.

    R: But all that saliva, won’t germs get passed on?

    RM: Oh well. Just brush your teeth before you kiss. Then you will be all minty in the mouth.

    R: !!!!

    We have spoken about having boyfriends.

    R: Will you be okay if I have boyfriend?

    RM: Yes, of course, as long as you come back home on time and tell me where you are going. Once you turn 18, you don’t have to. But till then you will have to.

    R: Oh okay!

    We have spoken about having babies and the process of delivery. R knows that she was a vaginal birth baby while R2 was an emergency C sec. When I took R for her flu vaccine, she didn’t expect the pain to last for 10 seconds. The doctor put in the needle and inserted the vaccine and R shouted ‘stop stop’. She just put her head down and cried silently. After about 2 minutes her head surfaced up and her eyes were full of tears, with the tears rolling down her cheeks. I didn’t expect it would pain so much for her and was so taken aback. I said ‘its okay da, you will feel okay’ The doctor looked at her face and was so shocked. She was like oh my God you are really brave. It must hurt isn’t it?

    R nodded her head but said ‘Thank you Doctor.’ I guess the doctor didn’t expect that. She was a bit overwhelmed.

    As we stepped outside, R went ‘I AM NOT TAKING ANY VACCINE EVER AGAIN’. I burst out laughing. Here was a kid who was trying to control her emotions and being polite to the doctor and then she just burst out πŸ™‚

    Anyway, we were just talking about needles and I told her, you need to chin up a bit. I told her about her due to R2’s emergency C-sec, I had to take an injection in my spine all the while under going labour pains.

    She seemed a bit aghast and said ‘okay, mom, may be babies are better adopted, aren’t they?’

    I said, to be honest, R, I thinking delivering is the easiest part of parenting, it is the bringing up part which seems to tough.

    She sat thinking for two minutes and said ‘okay, mom. I have decided!’

    Decided what re? I asked her.

    She said in a very definite tone, ‘I am NOT having babies. I am just getting two dogs and will bring them up! No delivery worries, no adoption tension and absolutely no bringing up problems’

    I just shut up!

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    Of Realizing Something

    So today, the friend and I had a dance workshop. We are doing a program for the community in the next couple of Sundays and one of the ideas was to conduct a dance workshop so that people can join us in on the stage on that day.

    Awesome idea…its like crowdsourced dancing or something. I really love doing workshops. I am the talker and my friend is the dancer. I am more of ‘on the count of 1,2,3’ while she is all about grace and how to get the dance steps right. I am more about starting and stopping the music on the laptop while she is all about getting those steps right. In short,Β  I think we work well as a pair.

    Anyway, so today we did a workshop for 1.5 hours. Which meant I was shouting, screaming, dancing and doing some 100 other things for the whole 1.5 hours. As soon as the workshop got over, I felt faint. RD came in with R2 to pick me up. R was talking something to me and I zoned out. I did know what I was doing. I was like an trance. I felt faint and I was clueless about what friends were saying.

    RD: Are you okay, RM? How was the workshop?

    RM: I am feeling faint.

    RD: Hehehe! okay lets go home and eat.

    And I just said bye to everyone mechanically and came home. And then ate. and ate. and ate. I told RD I was feeling really tired. I am wondering how I am going to dance on that day. Do a dance and then do a workshop dance as well.

    RD: Errr..RM

    RM: What?

    RD: Do you realise you are getting old?

    RM: Old? What old?

    RD: As in age old! You will complete 37 years in September this year. You do realise that, eh?

    RM: WHAT WHAT WHAT

    RD: WHAT WHAT? You are closer to forty that you believe you are. Once you cross 35, you are actually closer to 40. You know that eh?

    RM: WHAT WHAT WHAT. But I am only…..only….only…

    RD grinned at me and started to wipe that ginormous pile of patrams to keep back in the shelf!

    I am still kind of in a shock! I mean, really? Really? I am actually getting old. But like that lady in that movie ‘Sholay’ said ‘Jab tak I have jaan, I am continuing to be naaching’ or something..that is what I plan to do!

    Its just realising that I am really nearer to 40 than I thought can be pretty shocking, eh?

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