Friday, October 31, 2008

Ding Dong..

Today evening, the door bell is going to ring many times. As I washed and wiped the fancy looking glass bowl to place the treats for trick-or- treaters, I took a walk down the memory lane.

Halloween did not mean much to me until Nikhil was three. We were invited to go around a friends' community with her kid. He could barely talk and after a round of houses, I was surprised to see him babbling 'trick or treat' and asking for candy to strangers in their homes. I remember being excited about dressing him up in Barney costume and going around with a pumpkin basket.I also remember B getting him a Thomas costume online one Halloween when every other store had run out of it. It was expensive, but we wanted to put a smile on his face!

Over time, we learned to be smart - reuse the costume if we can! For the past two years, our kids are Spidermen! As long as they are ok, we don't plan to change it. Thanks to a family friend's hand-me-down, Nikhil is HULK this year! In the Halloween parade at school, he was showing off his muscles!!

Nithin is all excited to wear a Spiderman costume. I am not sure if he remembers any of the last years rounds. This will be his first active halloween, I think.

Within few hours, we will all be walking around the community with the baskets. In Malayalam, there is a word called 'Thendal'. This is real thendal - walk around with basket and ask for candy!
"Bhavathi candy dehi"!

Seems to be a warm sunny day - so I hope it does not get very cold soon in the evening!
Happy halloween to all of you! Happy weekend - I missed saying this last Friday!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Rental Car experience

Last weekend, I went away from home to stay with a set of family friends leaving B alone. Me and Kids went with another family to NJ, spent the night there and returned back Sunday evening. This is the best gift I could give B - since he I know he would love to have the home in solitude and peace, so he can study for his upcoming test. All went well and here I come back on Sunday evening realizing that the next morning, I have to leave my vehicle for repair and take the rental car.

Little changes like these make me nervous - I worry about what if the rental car does not start up when I try to start it, what if the controls don't behave the way I expect them to, and before that...what if I cannot figure out where each control is etc. I was on my own, since B has to drop the kids off and go to work. I got the rental car and I sat inside - telling myself "it is only 3 days the repair will take, it should fly away"!

The next 20 minutes I took to get accustomed with the vehicle - contemplating on whether I should drive 40 min to work in this new car or not. I drove slowly in my area - the cold air would not stop, my feet were freezing, I pressed some buttons , luck. OK, indicators work fine. It was a brand new all white BUICK LUCERNE. There could be nothing wrong with the car, but that itself made me nervous. It was like wearing a costly silk saree and not being able to enjoy it! The worry of harming the silk threads and tearing them off would prevent one from moving around freely!

My Camry is black with a dust coat on it (!), which I felt so comfortable squeezing into the narrow right turn lane even when a huge van stood to my left! I knew mine would squeeze in..but this new car, I can't take any risks with it!! As such, the rental company guy warned about the case when something happens to the car when I am driving it. 'Apashakunama pesathe da' - I felt like telling him ( meaning 'dont jinx it, man'!).

Day 2:
Next day, was my WAH day (work at home!), so I escaped from driving till evening kids-pick-up time.

Evening, I was kind of looking forward to driving it. The drive was smooth and by now, I had a feel for the car's size and I got used to driving it. When I unlocked the car from afar and it was getting dark, I was amused to see the headlights light up. Ithu kollalo! Little things I discovered made me appreciate the car!

Day 3:
Around evening, I got a call from the Auto Body shop that my Camry is ready for pick up.
I started at around 4 hoping to make the whole journey smooth and tension free. I looked for my sun glasses when I entered into the car. I had left it in the compartment to the right of the driver's seat. Where has it gone? I fished for deep into the compartment. I remember leaving it on a flat surface though. Hee..Hee..there was flat portion on the top of this compartment where I left my sunglasses and it had got joined with lid - so now I could hear the glasses move around within it, but could not see it. Oh God, how am I supposed to drive in the sun glare now? After shaking the top of the compartment like a mad girl (I know, you are asking, LIKE?) for 5 minutes, I looked calmly and found a way to open the the kannadi..what next now!

Oh, I need to fill gas to make it equal to 3/4 the total capacity - the way it was handed to me.
Of course, what I dreaded most happened. At the gas station, I opened the tiny door to the fueling portion (what do you call it! I don't know now!), but could not figure out how to open the knob. Again after 3 minutes of trying, I sought help from a gentleman who was fuelling his car. I was reminded so much of India where you could always find someone to help you out - where ever you go, you are not alone and it is so normal to approach people for help in public places!

The gentleman was nice and he did find out the way to open it after with it. OK, filled the gas, stopped it, checked the indicator, hmm, not enough..filled more and oops..overfilled it..well,. Whatever! As I drove to the rental place, I was worried about them closing the shop and going. I would be left stranded there coz I wont have a ride to my auto body shop. Thank God, I made it to the shop and returned the car.

The guy at the rental, talked like a recorded rebot. He drove me back to the Auto body shop talking to me about the sunny weather and asking me about how my car landed there etc. For my jokes, he laughed like a robot too. Was reminded of the airport ticketing officer girl who types non stop and smiles/talks like a machine in the movie 'Meet the Family'.

Signed the papers and paid the bill and got back the keys. When I opened the trunk of my Camry, and put my laptop bag in, I felt I was HOME. When I drove back home, I felt like that car is an extension of my body. I dont know if others are like me, I find comfort so much in the things I am used to. Well, there ends the story...thanks for driving with me..TATA!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Fun of sharing!

This post started as something else and morphed into what it is now. No, I am not talking about "sharing toys" that we preach to preschoolers. I am talking about the fun that we get in sharing and enjoying any form of art with someone.

Even as a school goer, my mind would be set on listening to songs from the movie I have watched recently. I enjoy doing that now also.I spent sometime yesterday evening in front of youtube. Kids and I enjoyed watching all songs from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na and Dasavathaaram - two movies whose songs have been playing now in our car. Watching it together with kids was a lot of fun.

Wanted to share some Malloo links that I am enjoying reading and laughing out loud.
Motham Chillara

I miss reading these aloud with my school mate S. When I read them, I was reminded of the good old school days when S would bring a comical article or book in Malayalam and we would Read it Out Aloud and laugh during lunch time. Not to forget the poetry we read and enjoyed (some our own) - that made us both feel like intellectuals (buddhi jeevis as we call in Malayalam!).

I was also reminded of the times when my Appa would read aloud the Backiam Ramasamy or Cho or Marina books and we would laugh out loudly. Somethings can only be shared with some people and it is hard to find a replacement for those people.

Now both S and Appa are in India and I can't really relive those times. Sigh!

That brings to memory all the S.Ve.Shekar's dramas I have listened in younger days. Whenever my cousin brother or any close relative comes home who is likely to enjoy it, my mind would be debating on which one to play and we can all enjoy listening to the drama together and laugh out aloud.

Another thing I really enjoy is watching "Akkarakkazhchakal" with B in youtube. The fun is doubled when there is someone who shares the same wavelength. Having such friendships/rapport is a blessing, right! I am also wondering at this moment - how many such new relations I developed after college years - very few!

Ok, end of sentimental blabbering session! All of you enjoy your weekend!

Friday, October 3, 2008

The week that was

Monday evening, B called me and said Nikhil did a good job at his Kumon test and he was going to take Nikhil to a restaurant as a treat. So B, Nikhil and Nithin went to this cozy family restaurant near home called "Happy Days". It was Nikhil's pick. Dad and son had gone there a while ago and told me about it. My mind was for once, not set on going to an Indian restaurant because it was Nikhil's choice and I thought I should go with it today.

I raced the car to join them. I was hoping to get something vegetarian to eat. When I reached there, the waitress asked me "Are you here to join your family?". I was surpised ,felt important and said "yes". She escorted me to the table where the 3 wise (??!!) men were sitting. Nikhil was super surpised -"Amma, how did you come here!?".

Tortellini Alfredo was super yummy and loaded with cheese. I was happy because I really liked it rather than having to be satified with getting something to eat. We had a table on a secluded section of the restaurant that made us feel better. No need to be conscious about Nithin's acts.

After the dinner, dad and Nikhil drove back in their car.
And I took Daps with me and put his favorite "Chechi Song" from "Dasavatharam" CD.
(On a side note, the chechi song is the song where they introduce Mallika Sherawat in the movie. She is a club dancer and what not! I cannot help laughing to think that my son would be the only one who calls her Chechi!)

It will be a night to remember!

Wednesday: Grabbed a DVD of "Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na" from an Indian store and watched it successfully in one shot with kids falling asleep on me.

Review posted here:

This is a weekend I am on call. Hoping it goes smooth!
Happy weekend to you all!