Keep the crap away

Thank god, schools today have redefined how they look at education and kids

As a kid, I watched it  in close quarters how your mom laughing , smiling and sending a rose to the class teacher can mean , you being made the class leader or getting the first rank. So in this small town that we got raised, most moms did not work. So that meant standing at the school gate and indulging in politics, from meeting teachers privately or simply  gossiping about other moms and kids

And this went on and on, over years. It broke our hearts.

Though I must admit I have a fair share of pleasant memories of stage performances that bring back warm memories. But what about the other 40 odd kids ( a class had 60 kids  in average) that did not go on to stage and didn’t get to perform ? Somewhere, someday, some little heart was broken because the same set of kids were performing year after year . Nothing got spoken because there was always a fear to talk back against a class teacher

I guess the ones that never got the 1st rank,never went on stage,  No body ever helped them write essays. The ones that got the 1st rank represented the school. 

In a way, it meant, the ones that stood 1st or 2nd had talent – everybody else stood no chance

The ones like me that mugged up and vomited on paper , got ranks, and got selected.

The rest bitched about the rank holders , a clear divide was formed.  I went on to mark some of my own as bullies.

I add them on to facebook , still remembering them as bullies from childhood

What made them bullies? Was there a deep resentment among st a few ? Was it their way of attention seeking. Sadly no one knew these words. Its only now, we know the many reasons why a child may turn a bully

The son pulled off a show yesterday and with great admiration for schools and teachers, I can say every child in K.G participated, either in a group dance or something similar. But mind you ! every child . Irrespective of whether they color, or write a capital “A” or Z perfectly!

And its a very doable thing – if only we segregated annual days as KG annual days, primary annual days and such. Unfortunately, in my days , we only had one annual day where every one from 6th to 12th pulled off a show on the same stage , the same day , giving very little chance to every student.

And  I neither have the time nor the will to stand at a school gate doing “muska”/buttering to a class teacher. Every school has a security at the gate. Unless I have a appointment or a family emergency I cannot go beyond a point .

The son goes in his school bus. He will learn to battle politics , fights, kattis and friendships, on his own. Very important life skills  – I will say

After all it gets murky when adults join in child politics

And as for the PTM’s , we meet the teacher , talk exactly to the point and are back at office desks – to pull off a corporate battle

..Thank god to our busy lives. In many ways we keep the crap away

Am I talking too soon? I only hope it remains the way it is.


The Sunset

Took the kid to a nice maintained park yesterday

It was close to sunset time and birds were flying together , back home. 

..And I instantly realized, even birds are privileged to head home by evening

Its only us – the software junta that stay put well past 7 PM, peering through P1 bugs, status calls 

… and consider ourselves lucky to see a sunset on certain days we step out of office by 6:30 PM. to see the evening sunset

As much as we love to argue on the stay at home and working mom scenario, aren’t kids of working moms severely lacking physical activities if they are holed up in day cares , well past 7 PM.

…but still we pull along, day after day, because in the current generation, every one expects you to work, you want to work, and you argue, if not this , then what  , school teacher ? admin staff somewhere, you argue about well paid insurance for aging parents .. 

… and in the bargain, forget that your kids and you , don’t get to see sunsets everyday

… gone are the days when kids played in the playground in the evenings and headed home in dirty clothes by 7 PM

Today many kids , hop on to cars by 7:30 PM from day cares

What a pity

In our quest to prove ourselves to the world, are we robbing childhood from them



A famous bookstore. Crowded with kids of all ages. It’s childrens day, Stories, puppets and lots of noise

Whose listening anyway. Each kid is only looking at another that is dressed up as either spiderman or batman

The stories get over. The story teller allows kids to pet the frog puppet in her hands

A blind boy. All of 2 years. stretches his hands all over the place trying to feel the puppet, even as the others prance and try to grab the green frog

Poignant moments. Tears well up. You fight the tears and look away.

…and feel blessed for the things that we take for granted

….Love your child, irrespective of them being blind.autistic. or a slow learner

because every child is special

Happy Childrens day again !

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 !

The Ganeshas

There is this area in Bangalore, I have often passed by which stocks Ganesha’s . The real giant like ones. The ones that don’t get picked are losely wrapped with plastic sheets , with the plastic sheets blowing in the wind. I often imagine these Ganeshas as being left in the Bangalore chill as if  no one cared.

…and I wondered, if those Ganeshas felt bad- for not being picked, for not being worshipped.

What makes people pick one Ganesha over another? Do you even do that

Having written this post, henceforth would I pick the first Ganesha I set my eyes on.Would I feel guilty if I picked one over another


Balle Balle Indian American Jee…

********TO BE READ IN LIGHT VEIN.******************

So you must have noticed it. Where else jee ! On facebook of course

There is this entire generation that is in the mid 30’s that want to look like the Deepika’s and Katrina’s of Bollywood.Ok ! well we will say Deepika – she is the favourite of the season na – with those chiffon sarees, pallu falling off the chest,barely anything covering her modesty(watch the wedding rituals in Yeh jawaani hai deewani if you don’t agree, the pink ghagra ),  gyrating to Baalam Pichkari  and running after titlis.

Suddenly the ones marrying in their 30’s  are embracing Bollywood like never before – from  Bollywood theme weddings where the groom and the bride gyrate to some Sridevi Sexy Radha  number , sangeet which was never heard of in a Tamil Brahmin wedding, so much so folks that never had a wedding like that are asking for divorces and getting re-married to have a Bollywood style weddings.ok! ok sorry that was bad !.

Me not fakofying(lying) . this is an actual comment picked off facebook –  Im so fascinated by seeing ths album..I feel like getting married again n in Bollywood “style..”happy to see you had so much fun”

Bollywood style photo shoots,dreamy gazes, staring into nowhere, a lovelorn  look. And you guessed it right yaar. The facebook comments often refer to Swiss mountains and DDLJ and the types.

Why Why Why I cannot fathom. Is it facebook that is bringing in the change or that of gloss photography . or is it Bollywood.

Today even a Tamil Brahmin wedding with its madi and aacharams has an urban photographer that has pictures of the groom carrying the bride against an American park backdrop. or the  whole oonjal ceremony is so chic with  titles “paal vadunja mugangal”

But first tell me where does the Indian American find time from. I mean, I have a maid who does the dishes and the cleaning but still my weekends are sooo damn busy convincing my little one to draw sleeping and standing lines.

…last but not the least  , do they get those Bollywood clothes on baadege ( I mean on rent ) … I cannot fathom my Indian wallet ever buying a Bollywood style ghagra . …..

..and even if I did buy where will I wear the ghagra ?? you mean while I wait for the bus at agara ????

Looks like I am the Cinderella jee – cleaning bathrooms, doing the dishes when the maid disappears, drawing standing and sleeping lines and finishing off my son’s unfinished homework

Now going back to listening to “Paani da rang ” Boy I discovered this song and the handsome Punjabi munda some 2 years after the movie release. That’s my life ji !