Jan 20, 2012

Friday's Project and two movie reviews...

Last Friday I accomplished a lot on the organizing front since I gave the computer a holiday. So today too I didn't turn on my laptop till now. Yesterday I checked out the Plastic-free Living Guide site (which my friend Remya shared on FB - thanks Remya!) and found some very interesting ideas on bringing home less plastic. This couldn't have come at a better time, because our favorite grocery store has started charging for plastic bags. Yes, I admit it, even in this age of awareness there are people like me who become environmentally conscious only when it pinches the pocket!!! The site contained a link to a video tute of a lady making five bags from a t-shirt and I went, "Hey, I can do that!!!" 

So this happened....

I had an old cotton chudi that was awaiting transformation into kitchen rags - which I have plenty of for the time being - which I transformed into 7 bags today. I didn't use the tiny sleeves or the top part of  the pyjama. The big, "handled" tote can serve as a shopping bag and the rest can be used to store veggies in the fridge. I also collected good plastic bags from around the house for reusing and have corralled them in a cloth tote that I am going to put in the car boot when DH arrives. Half the time our good resolutions fall along the wayside when we forget to take our market totes etc. with us.

Now to make a plastic-lined tote to carry frozen goods... I guess I can sandwich some good plastic between two layers of cloth and make a drawstring bag for that. What say you? 

Last week we saw two new movies on consecutive days - both were movies about movies.

The first was Vellaripravinte Changathi - started off well, but fizzled out within half an hour. There were three movies: the movie, the movie inside the movie and the movie about the movie inside the first movie. Yup: all three together - a mishmash with some very predictable sequences. Not one of the three movies were gripping or novel enough to hold attention.

The second was Sarojkumar etc. etc. - okay, I can't be bothered enough to type out the whole title. It was horrible - and lacked only a tiny bit to be outright slander against the person closest to a Renaissance man that the Malayalam movie industry has. It was almost choking with venom. The only positives from that movie were the songs. And what is it with Vineeth Sreenivasan appearing in head-bandages for two new years in a row???

That's it. Only two tiny paras (abbreviation and Malayalam :-)) for movies that I did not enjoy.

Jan 16, 2012

A lucky Friday the Thirteenth!!!!!

Whenever the 13th of a month and a Friday come together, I give a day's holiday to my computer. It started out of the notorious virus scare and since then has become a sort of holiday for my comp. This Friday was no different. I disconnected myself from the virtual world and concentrated on some long-due chores and rearrangements in Karthi.

On Saturday, we made an early morning trip to our neighboring Ayyappa Swamy temple. Our breakfast was a bit late than usual and before starting lunch prep, I decided to check my email. What I saw in my blog mail folder made my jaw drop and I set up such a holler that poor DH who had just arranged himself on the bed for a leisurely newspaper read came running. 

My mailbox contained a message (sent on the thirteenth) from a member of the Travancore royal family who had seen my write-up on Princess Aswathi Thirunal Gouri Lakshmi Bayi's book Sree Padmanabha Swamy Temple and had brought it to her notice. She had requested that a message should be sent to me! The mail included a brief message of appreciation from the Princess thanking me for my "views and evaluation" of her work. I've often read of people feeling buffeted by completely contradictory emotions, and I personally went through it just then. I felt on top of the world and totally humble at the same time. For a scholarly writer of her immense stature to notice and send a message to a teeny, tiny dilettante like me showcases her beautiful personality.

I've been having a lot of fun just writing this blog. It's an even greater pleasure when my friends read and comment on it. But this message of appreciation? It's the icing on the cake. Thank you, dear Madam, once again for your notice and your gracious response.

Lucky Friday the thirteenth indeed!

Edited to add: See my new blog header? That's a view of the roof of the Padmanabhapuram Palace and the hills behind. So appropriate, don't you think?!

Jan 12, 2012

Out of the mouth of babes...

This new year, I gave our elder son a small diary to record his days. I hoped it would be an exercise in composition for him and that I would save them so that he can look back at his own writing one day and enjoy it. The novelty factor and "writing a diary like Amma" was exciting in the beginning. But then he was always assailed by every writer's doubt, "What shall I write?" At first I had him think about his day and record the highlights. His contribution for each day was two or three sentences at the most. But I didn't push him so that he would not feel that it was a forced task. Last Friday, he was bored while I was writing away, and pestered me a bit too much about what he should write. I snapped and told him brusquely that he could write anything as long as he quit pestering me. He wrote for a while and then asked me politely whether I would like to read what he had written. Contrite for having lost my temper earlier, I accepted the offer. This is what I read:

"I love my parents. When I do nauthy things they will be angry. But when they are angry just watch them like a baby." (sic)

I was intrigued and asked for an explanation. He said that whenever elders scold you, you just have to imagine that they are little babies who are shouting at you and then you won't feel bad. I asked him if that is what he did when we scolded him and he said yes. I was totally floored. Want to know why? In You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay, she describes a visualization exercise used to forgive our parents (for several reasons, even if you are the best of parents, kids will always have some resentment towards you.). The key element of the exercise is to imagine your parents becoming younger till they are each three-years old. Then it becomes easy to forgive them unconditionally. Our 7-year-old is doing this instinctively!!! Yup, out of the mouth of babes!!!!

Our younger one who started school recently is also beginning to find his home more attractive than school now that the novelty has worn off. Yesterday his bus driver called me five minutes after he picked him up from our home to tell me that he was crying a lot. I reassured him that he would probably be okay once he reached school and called the school to reassure myself. Today, I had to carry him on to the bus and even though he did not struggle, once he was on the bus, he sidled on to the farther side of the seat and refused to even look at me when I called out a cheerful Ta..ta. Oh the guilt....

And this is what he looks like once he gets back from school...

Jan 4, 2012

Finally, I've switched to part time!

Today I'm inclined to be in a little nostalgic and sentimental mood...

Here's our younger one about a month after he was born...

And here he is when he was an expert at pulling down all things that were 2 feet above ground

He still had no teeth on his first birthday...

And we had to bribe him with tens of Parle-G biscuits to get him dressed up like this...

This is him exhausted after his second birthday party... reminds me of one of Kamal Hassan's poses in the posters for Sagarasangamam!

And this is the famous mud baby picture

Here he is on his third birthday...grinning, no doubt, in anticipation of wolfing down that cake...

Now why am I so nostalgic? Here's the answer...

Nidhin has started going to school today. We actually meant to enroll him this June in LKG, but when we went to the Montessori school in November to fill the application form, he went in and started playing and refused to come back when we called him. That was a signal to us that he was ready to join. So he has gone to school and I am left with a huge amount of time. Feels like I've finally switched to part-time mommying from full-time.

I no longer have to be on 24/7 on-call duty as caregiver/playmate/nursemaid/accident-preventer/teacher/entertainer/referee/consoler. I don't have to jump up in the middle of something at the prompt of my mommy-sense to find a kiddo raiding the fridge/scribbling on the wall/hanging off the entertainment center/pasting the pages of books with glue/playing with water etc. I don't have to keep yelling "Anikkuttaaaaaa" every 15 minutes to find his whereabouts. Every weekday from 9:30 to 3:30, I will be free to do what I want, uninterrupted. Then why am I so devastated??????

On the other hand, it might do me some good to have my best reason for procrastination out of the way. So here's to part-time freedom! Hurrah!!!!

Jan 2, 2012

Helllllloooooooo 2012!!!

Wow, what a way to begin a new year! The last day of the year I got a surprise mail package from one of my dearest friends. Let me show you!

That is the first page of a fabulous desktop calendar that she has made. It's a joint family venture with my friend providing the illustrations...

That's the picture for the January page. And each picture is accompanied by a short poem by her very talented daughter who happens to share my birthday. So you can guess that she echoes my sentiments exactly as follows! :-)

Each page is delectable and I obviously can't put all the pages here. It is all the more special because my friend has an extremely demanding IT job and has made this special effort in the midst of her hectic job.

Once again, thanks a lot Anitha!

The next gift came in a more homely shape and attire and insisted on lightening my load in the new year...

Yup, our firstborn insisted on making dosas in the morning!  He made up for lack of technique with a lot of enthusiasm...

 The poor guy was too hard on himself when the dosas turned out wonky. But my encouragement and the way his little brother scarfed down the wonky ones mollified him a little...

By the time he was almost done, the dosas were almost circular in shape. Now all I have to do in the morning is saunter into the dining room in my PJs and breakfast will be steaming in a platter before me.

Well, a gal can always dream, can't she???

Happy New Year once again and hope yours started off on the right foot too!

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