The guide to good house keeping

The architect comes calling to take pics of the home. I panic ,grappling with kinder joy plastics.The Tall dark Handsome husband arrives. Flings all the junk from clothes and toys into the loft like a basket ball. Mills and Boon advocates tall dark handsome men for a good reason. And the junk may live happily on the loft ever after #Marriage vows #Marriage woes #The guide to good housekeeping


Chor baage Chor baage Chore….

It was Diwali and Dussehra fest at my son’s daycare today.Today was supposedly a very busy day because the architect wanted to come over and click pics. However since my son loves his daycare, I didn’t want to disappoint him and so we travelled from one end of South BLR to Bannerghatta (to his daycare headquarters)

And what a fab mom he has got. Amidst the thoughts of cleaning the home for the architect, I remebered to buy half a dozen roses, to be given to all his daycare teachers ,the present ones and the ones in the previous years.

So that was the highlight of the day. I am and will always be grateful to his daycare teachers for being so caring and wonderful

And as I hoped, his daycare nurse from infancy was only too happy to see him. She held him as a 4 month old and today she lifted a 4 year old .. of course the son does not know her. She will remain cherished all my life. This malayalee chechi – who was even ready to feed milk using a spoon to a baby that hated the bottle.

There was dandiya in the sweltering noon heat and dhol .

As always I feel sorry for the staff for whom attendance is mandatory on saturdays for such events. Most parents dont turn up on saturdays. Its only the staff that puts in a LOT of efforts.  I always believe teachers are the most hard working and worst paid. So they should be allowed to spend time with their families.

hmm as for the title. the son transformed the Dhol baaje , Dhol Baaje song to Chor baage Chor baage .. aaha makes perfect sense 😉

DSC_0804This place refuses to leave my mind. This noon, I went all the way to Banashankari to view the dolls displayed at Dhaatu and my ! what a collection. A few thousand colorful dolls on display from miniature ones to life size ones.

This was no ordinary golu or bomma habba where you stack row after row of dolls. They have a entire house dedicated to dolls. There are dolls depicting everything from a flag hoisting ceremony to Mysore Dusshera procession.

The ones that will catch your eye are the ones depicting a few hundred scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabharata , the Abhimanyu chakravuh included.

There are also story telling and puppetry for kids

As always I ponder over

whether they put the dolls away at all

How do they dust them

Where do they store them?

As kids, I still remember how as a family we would carefully dismantle the dolls and wrap them up in newspapers. We had huge golu pottis (boxes) that were then left for year in the paran.And amma often worried about rats getting into the boxes. Setting up a golu and dismantling the dolls is a mammoth task, breaking a doll or two is considered inauspicious.

With all that in mind today I was wondering how these people manage to set up not 10 but 1000 dolls ! And in Bangalore, I often detest the dust that gathers all over the show pieces so much so I vowed never to have a show piece in the living room. So how do these folks manage to dust the dolls ?

There were kids at the entrance, I assume volunteers. There are even puppetry and story telling happening during Dusshera

I listened to the story of Valmiki very keenly. I did know the bandit connection but listening how he began to write the Ramayana was interesting

All these years I stayed a stone’s throw from this place in South Bangalore and never knew about this one. And today it took me a hour and half one way to reach the place. However the directions mentioned on the website is perfect and would not miss guide any one

Imagine the dedication and passion of the entire family to set up such a mega project

Simply marvellous .

Pappu can’t dance ..

A colleague of mine, my son and me made it to a Garbha night last evening. We made awkward moves, ogled at the beautiful graceful Gujarati women in their Garbha dress and when we realized that we cannot keep pace with professional moves,  we formed our own small circle, what with each of us poking the other with the dandiya sticks.

I swear ! The women were beautiful. Dressed in traditional Gujarati attire. They organized the whole event very very well. There was food – supple doklas and gulab jamuns

A midst people going delirious , swaying to the beats , my friend from an interior village from Tamil Nadu asked why south Indians don’t dance. She was quick to add , may be our homes would never allow us to show off our mid rif. I agreed. We have the humble paavadai daavani ( the half saree ) that is handed over in a special ceremony when the girl matures. So the south indian that dons soda buddi glasses, makes his way to the IIT and searched for thayir sadam at the end of every meal cannot dance

Yes we do have the bharathnatyam, a more disciplined form of dance. But no dancing for fun. Those days , and I talk here about my kollu patti days, women dancing were not respected and looked down upon

As a vengeance, the South Indian is going all ga ga on facebook. The latest that I couldn’t keep my eyes off was that of a bride and groom doing the “now you may kiss the bride”. So whats special and why had the pic gone viral you ask. The groom and the bride were dressed in the Tam Bram traditional dhoti and madisaar,  an attire that is worn only for the most auspicious occasions of ones lifetime. The click was indeed very aesthetically taken. The pic (someones wedding indeed) had gone viral , had 10000 likes and had people comment . Some saying the only place for the madisaar to reach now is a ball room dance, others condemning the act. Still others saying the youth is finally showing what they need today and that is change

Call it abachaaram(defying traditions) and what not. The change is happening and happening fast.  I don’t know how many homes still keep a golu. But pandal hopping and dandiya ras is gaining popularity amongst the Tamil folks . Thanks to cities like New York and Bangalore that has people from all races under one umbrella

Do I feel happy that we have begun to change from hard and rigid customs such as women termed Teetu (impure) and barred from touching and entering the kitchen for a good 3 day every month or do I feel sad about the Bommai habba or golu  turning into a dying tradition?

From a culturist nostalgist

Punjabi Auntie

As I wait for those 15 minutes at the bus stop looking out for the school bus to arrive, my brain cooks up stories of every day people I watch- of kids in uniforms. of aunties in track suits. of uncles taking pets out for a walk. of grand parents crossing the streets with grand children ,

My son waits to meet Kushi. A bubbly 5 old Punjabi kid that takes the same bus as him. Kushi tags along with her grand ma, lets call her Punjabi auntie. There is something about Punjabi auntie . I don’t know why but my heart warms up every time I see her . May be its her smile that she flashes to all and sundry as we wait for the bus. She is friends with a lot of moms is what I see.

Punjabi auntie stays with her son and daughter in law, both of whom lead busy lives in our metro. Punjabi auntie drops the 2 kids at the bus stop and picks then back at 2 PM . Punjabi auntie doubles up as the care taker in momma’s absence. Kushi gets to get back home from school. no holed up in a one room day care . Auntie mutters under her breath how difficult it is to handle a 5 year old tantrum throwing Kushi, what with Kushi sprinting off in her school uniform to a friends place as soon as she gets off the bus at 1 PM. The task then rests with auntie to trace her , get her home and get her to eat her lunch. Auntie plays referee as she watches 2 of her grand kids fight over the TV remote.

As auntie narrates her every day adventures with her grand kids, the scenes play on my mind like a movie. Auntie must be mutteting curses at her grand kids, that trouble her, that keep running on to the road as they await the buses.

The bus arrives. The son boards it The bus waits a few seconds for kids that arrive late. Auntie chuckles. I assume auntie is popular in her apartment. She must be friends with the many North Indian families and must be bonding over vraths and pooja paats, that are so common in the apartments

Yesterday auntie expressed child like curiosity when she said they were all going to Goa for Dussehra vacation.I thought auntie needed a break too , just like her son and daughter in law , After all managing 2 bratty kids all day in the absence of their parents must not be easy

The other parents and auntie ensure all kids get into the bus and no one missed it, even if that means making the bus wait for a good 5 min. I like that camaraderie. They signal, they shout ” Jaldi bulao” Jaldi bulao. Wait wait, kids are coming.  That kind of camaraderie , you find only in apartment complexes.

Would they wait for us too if we arrived late ?? I wonder.

The bus leaves. I walk back home, a dozen thoughts juxtaposed in my already clouded brain. I walk back thinking about auntie, about her family, about my bugs waiting to be solved, Of rajma to be soaked in water for the evening dinner.

What would life be for that working couple with 2 kids if auntie didn’t move in from Lucknow with them ?

How nice of auntie to let go of her hometown and to embrace a city like Bangalore her home

What a great support system grand parents play in today’s India. With women working and families still wanting to have 2 kids, imagine how topsy turvy life could be , if you had no one to help

.. and I think I know why my heart warms up to this auntie. It is because of  just one phrase I have begun to love post my baby –  and that word is SUPPORT SYSTEM !