26 February, 2007

One weird little fishy !!

We've been marking this for quite a while now.

One of the goldfishes in the aquarium at home loves to float upside down.

There has been one such instance previously where one of the fishes used to swim vertically - that is to say - nosedive and also swim up vertically. This was when Aparna was around 3 1/2 and it really freaked her out.

This little fish has been doing this for quite some time and it has been my endeavour to capture it on camera. And today, I did ..........

This is how the fish begins to flip belly up (the dark orange goldfish) ....

And this is how the little fish floats belly up, looking quite content.

And that's how it stays for a minute or so !!

When Mommies get careless .........

.......... this is what happens !!!!

I had left my handbag lying around today afternoon. And it still contained a tube of lipstick. Normally, all cosmetics go back where they belong after one of my outings - but today I forgot.

Abhay was busy exploring my bag, presumably for candies, but he hit jackpot instead. When I went looking for him, this was the sight I saw.

Abhay with a very liberal smearing of lipstick on his lips. And he even consented to me taking a picture and after that .............

........... there was a mad mad mad dash for the living room with mommy flying after him like a bat out of hell - cos mommy knew he would crash into the sofa in the living room, which incidentally, happens to have pale blue covers.

Must have been quite a sight - Abhay screaming in total glee and absolute abandon, Mommy in hot pursuit yelling like a banshee and Grandma looking completely bewildered !!

Mommy managed to catch hold of him quite literally by the scruff of his neck and landed in a heap on the carpet of the living room. Phew !!!!!

(Mommy hasn't quite had the guts to check under the carpet and see if she has managed to create a crater in the living room).

The lipstick tube in question has been safely ensconced where it rightfully belongs.

25 February, 2007

I Do v/s I See

Both Appu and Abhay wanted to go over to Kowloon Park one weekend. Main attraction there being the aviary and a huge pond area with lots of ducks, flamingos, fishes and turtles.

But that particular weekend, all the birds had been taken away by the park authorities because of the bird flu scare. Three stray pigeons carrying the H5N1 virus had been found dead within a 5 mile vicinity of the park.

So the kids had to be content with the fishes and the turtles. But to add cheer to the rather weatherwise gloomy day, the rose garden was in full bloom as were almost all the other flowering plants in the park. It was such a colourful confusion.

The following week, I rather casually asked Abhay where he had been during the weekend and he said “Abhay go to the Koloon Park”.

When I asked him what he did in the park, he said

“I go to toilet. I do wee wee. I flush. I wash my hands. I wipe hands with tissue.”

I was expecting a slightly more detailed narrative which I thought would include the colourful flowers, the fishes (which he had been gaping at saying “sooo big fish”), the baby turtles.

Annhhh Annnnnhhaaa !!!

There was nothing.

I asked him once again as to what he did in the park and again got the same reply. No mention of anything other than the trip to the toilet.

The same question posed once again the next day yielded the same reply.

The next day, I asked him why there was no mention of the flowers, turtles etc

And he says (I could not believe my ears at that point of time so I don’t really blame any one of you out there whose initial reaction, after reading his reply below, is “No way. No way that can come from a 3 ½ year old. Well, believe it or not, it did !”)

Abhay SEE lotsam flowers, lotsam fishies, lotsam tortoise in the Koloon Park.


Abhay DO wee-wee in the toilet.

My question had been “what did you do in Kowloon Park ?”

And as far as he was concerned, the answer was quite unequivocal.

As per his logic, what he SAW in the park did not constitute part of what he DID.

And in his own way, if one looks at it in terms of speaking politically correct English, I have to admit that he was right !!

The Kid

A few weeks back, as me and Abhay were coming back home from school, we had the usual long flight of stairs to negotiate.

When the independent spirit in him suddenly takes over, he insists on climbing up the stairs without holding on to my hand or the railings. So I end up dutifully walking behind him, just in case he slips (God Forbid !) or suddenly takes to a little birdie and decides to go after it at full speed or some such thing.

On this particular day, as we were climbing up the stairs, another little boy ahead of us was also climbing the stairs without holding onto anything and he stumbled, and much to my horror, fell down.

And my immediate reaction was “Oh My God !! That kid fell down”.

Abhay’s ears perked up and he asked me “Where’s the kid ?”

My attention was still focused on the other little boy (as Abhay’s little hands were holding onto mine by then) and I pointed in the general direction of that little boy and said “There. That little kid was running up the stairs and he fell down”.

Once we had reached the top of the stairs, Abhay once again asked me “That’s a kid ?”

And I absentmindedly nodded and said “Yes”. My mind was still riveted on the close shave that the other little boy had just had. I was still mentally shuddering at the thought.

Then I heard Abhay’s voice again – piercing through that fog that had momentarily encircled my thoughts

“That’s a Mummy Goat” he said.

And he had an extremely puzzled look on his face. He looked quite disturbed, actually.

Wondering where in the world he saw a goat on the stairs, I followed the direction of his gaze and found that he was talking about the lady with that little boy.

Was I not the one who taught Abhay that a “kid” is a “baby goat” ?

In this case, I don’t know whether to call it his fuzzy logic or his own brand of lateral thinking – he had concluded that if the little boy was a “kid” (as mommy kept insisting) then the lady with him was a “mummy goat” – while she looked, in no way, like one.

From that day on, I keep reminding myself every single day, never ever again to refer to any little child as a “kid”.

And with time, he also will be initiated into the wonders of the English language where the same word can well have two meanings. Maybe even more.

Abhay and the Pencil ....

This happened a few weeks back.

Actually – all the three posts of today are the little “tidbits” which took place a few weeks back and only today did I realise that I had not written a post about them.

Abhay was busy with his ABCD tracing book and I was busy with one of my chores around the house. Suddenly, I heard his little voice say

“Pencil la Chee Chee Pottu Tharen” (Abhayism for “Want to put chee chee on the pencil)

It struck me as quite odd because he freaks when he even sees a single hair lying around – be it on the floor or the sofa or the bathroom floor or the pencil or the eraser – just about anywhere basically. The same goes for specks of lint or dust or dirt. Honestly, I thank my stars that he does not view the soles of his shoes everytime he comes back from the park !!

Going by his above attitude towards any form of “chee chee”, I was quite surprised to hear him say that he “wanted to put chee chee on the pencil”.

Quite honestly, I was nonplussed !!

Something was not right somewhere.

Abandoning the task on hand, I went around to investigate what this particular “chee chee” was – if it could actually make Abhay want to put it on his pencil, it must be something spectacular, I thought to myself.

When he saw me, he again repeated “Pencil la chee chee pottu tharen”.

On closer inspection of the pencil, I found that the lead of on the pencil had broken off.

And then it dawned !!!!! And I permitted myself a smile when the penny dropped.

Normally when the lead on the pencil breaks off, Abhay picks it up and says “That’s a chee chee” and heads in the direction of the dustbin.

In this case, he wanted the pencil sharpened and at that time, the word “sharpen” was not part of his vocabulary.

So, I guess, he went into reverse gear and said “Pencil la Chee Chee Pottu Tharen” – his way of saying “I want to put a piece of lead back on this pencil”.

I could not help but smile at the ingenuity with which he managed to get his message across.

23 February, 2007

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum !!!

Bubble Gum Bubble Gum – is the chant I’ve been hearing a lot over the past few weeks.

Then this changed to “I want Bubble Gum”.

Poor Abhay !! Needless to say, his Mommy can be quite dense when the situation so requires.

So yesterday, when the consistently stubborn (in this case) mommy was busy with something else, Abhay stuck a balloon in his mouth and went about looking for Mommy. Find mommy he did, of course and went on to tell her “That’s a bubble gum. Abhay has bubble gum in the mouth”.

Mommy did feign surprise at having been outwitted but did not budge a millimeter as far as the bubble gum embargo business was concerned.

And much to Abhay’s consternation and dismay, Mommy’s message was quite clear

“I hear you Abhay. I hear you loud and clear. And you looked pretty cute with that balloon stuck in your mouth. All the same, my dear, I’m not about to toe your line on this one – not just yet !!”

P.S : this picture is courtesy “that something” mommy happened to be doing when Abhay came looking for her with the balloon in his mouth. Mommy happened to be going thru the pictures in the digital camera cos she had to print some pics out.

And she ended up snapping a Candid Picture !!!

22 February, 2007

Kung Hei Fat Choy !!

Traditional Chinese New Year Dragon (made by Appu) and Lion (made by Abhay) artwork made at school.

The air has been resounding with greetings of "Kung Hei Fat Choy" over the past week or so.

Kung Hei Fat Choy is the traditional Chinese greeting for "Happy New Year" in Cantonese.

Chinese New Year a.k.a The Spring Festival or The Lunar New Year is one of the most important festivals in the Chinese Calendar.

This year, ethnic Chinese population all over the world, ushered in The Year of the Pig (also known as The Year of the Boar) on 18th February 2007.

According to legend in ancient China, a man eating beast called Nian came out from the mountains once every 12 months to prey on human beings. The people later believed that the Nian was sensitive to loud noises and the color red, so they scared it away with explosions, fireworks and the liberal use of the color red. These customs led to the first New Year celebrations. Guò nián, which means to celebrate the new year, literally means the passover of the Nian.

Traditionally, red packets known as Lai See in Cantonese are passed out during the Chinese New Year's celebrations, from married couples or the elderly to unmarried juniors. It is common for adults to give red packets to children. The red envelopes always contain money, usually varying from a couple of dollars to several hundred. The amount of money in the red packets should be of even numbers, as odd numbers are associated with cash given during funerals.

The Lion Dance/Dragon Dance is also a common practice during Chinese New Year. It is believed that the loud beats of the drum and the deafening sounds of the cymbals together with the face of the Lion dancing aggresively can evict bad or evil spirits off the place.

I leave you with some of the pictures taken during the Chinese New Year celebrations this month.

Appu and Abhay with the Dragon

Traditional Dragon and Lion Dances in our apartment block

Appu and Abhay in the lobby under the traditional peach blossom tree

19 February, 2007

Love is .........

Slow down for three minutes to read this. It is worth it.

Touching words from the mouth of babes.

What does Love mean?

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?"

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love." Rebecca- age 8

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy - age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss"
Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7 (Wow!)

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
Nikka - age 6
(we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine-age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you." Karen - age 7 (what an image !)

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child.

The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.
When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"

No wonder then, that Richard Henry Stoddard once said

"Children are the keys of Paradise"

16 February, 2007

India Poised

Quite some time back, someone had emailed us the video “India Poised” – both the versions – the English and the Hindi ones.

Yes, I’m talking about the same video in which the Big Bacchan has been talking about the two different Indias.

The absolute conviction with which he says “There are two Indias – One India is straining at the leash ………. The other India is the leash” - is something that has to be seen to be believed.

Wow !! – The first few times we watched the video - what fervor, what zeal, what passion he manages to induce into that video clip, I thought.

But all that was to follow was quite a bit of disillusionment, what with all the hype that followed about getting his daughter-in-law to-be married, of all the things, to a couple of trees. Though, in this particular situation, my sympathies lie totally with those two trees !!

Talk, I thought to myself, once again, about the India which IS the leash. The Bacchans certainly seemed to be part of THAT India.

Anyways, coming to the point – while the video clip was being played on the PC, we used to have quite an interested spectator around. Abhay found the whole thing (especially the English version) quite fascinating.

So much so that, he too would start off by saying “There are two Indias and that would be followed by a whole lot of garbled language and finally he would say “It’s time to fly”.

Last week, Abhay decided to give us his “take” on the commentary.

He started off “There are two Indias …” with his hands behind his back and his head cocked to the side. And a lot of garble followed and then finally the finale

“There were lotsam birdies. Birdies say Cheep Cheep Cheep. The little birdie say “It’s time to fly”.

Parenting ......

Some days back, one evening, Appu and me were getting dinner ready. She quite likes to mosey around in the kitchen asking me whether she could help. She had already taken the placemat to put on the table while I was busy heating up the dinner.

Having put the placemat on the table, she was standing by the doorway of the kitchen with quite a serious look on her face.

And then she says “Mom I have to tell you something.” “ABC (she used her friend’s name but I’m going to refer to her friend as ABC) is using the “F” word.

What’s a “F” word, Appu ? I asked her with a pounding heart.

“Mom !!!!!” – that "mom" quite bordered on exasperation.

“Mom – she actually spelt it out – she said F***”

She went on to say "See, whenever anyone upsets ABC or talks back to ABC, ABC walks away. She then gets hold of another girl - sometimes it is me - and takes us aside and then ABC says that the girl who upset her is such a F***"

This time around, my jaw did drop and I’m sure, observant as she is, she must have noticed all of my reactions to that statement, the outwardly physical ones atleast.

We then did sit and talk about how people end up using bad language and expletives and how it was just not the way to go. I also made it a point to tell her that aping or using bad language or obscene language is definitely not hep or chic. Quite the contrary.

She then went about her business, looking quite glad that she had brought that out into the open.

I, on the other hand, could just not get the whole thing out of my mind.

I know for a fact that “F” words are not uncommon at all but somehow coming from a 7-8 year old seems to give it a whole different connotation. It somehow seems even more obscene. While we were in Bombay recently, I saw 3-4 boys playing cricket and a Hindi expletive starting with “C” was being thrown around like a shuttlecock in a badminton game. Again, these boys could not have been over 10 years of age.

In the earlier days, a lot of emphasis was placed on moral values, feelings of respect towards sentiments and respect for age. All of this and a lot many more are being regarded as “Jurassic” by many of the up and coming generation of youngsters.

Another issue that has had a huge visual impact for quite sometime now is the increasing number of “young” smokers. And by young, I mean school going kids. It is very very commonplace to find schoolchildren smoking in HK even though the retail stores are not supposed to be selling cigarettes to kids below 18 years of age. The number of young children smoking are way too many to be discounted as “just a few kids rebelling”. And I saw the same thing in Bombay this time around. Catch a few snippets of conversation and one realises that most of these kids smoke so that it enhances their image and girls too admit that smoking and swearing does make boys seem more macho to them.

Channels of information are more open than ever to kids now. The Internet, magazines, books, tapes, video parlors and what have you. While all of this can be used to enhance knowledge and widen the scope and vista of their imagination in productive ways, it can also very well work the other way around.

And this is the world in which our children are going to grow up…..

During our growing up days, I do remember troubles which took the form of identity crisis, popularity crisis. For that matter, as teens, even something as simple as pimples or acne or dandruff constituted a crisis. But this seems to absolutely pale in the light of what we see today.

Parents have to be ever more vigilant but at the same time have to be willing to give their kids extra room and space to let them grow into what they are.

Parents have to be careful but again not too careful as to smother the kids.

Parents have to take a reality check while at the same time holding on to the dreams and aspirations of a better world for their children to live, grow and flourish in.

Parents have to give in many a times, while at the same time ensure that children do not cross the maximum outsides of the set boundary.

Parents have the unquestionable task of teaching their children the importance of ethics, morals and principles which they will need to draw strength from as they face obstacles in life.

This, more so, in a world that is sure to place our children on crossroads time and again, in a world that is sure to test them in innumerable ways, in a world where choices have to be made quickly, in a world where decisions need to be taken on a split second basis , in a world wherein they have to think on their feet so as not to get left out of the race.

Like Oscar Wilde once said

Morality, like art, means drawing a line someplace.

And the onus of trying to make this ideal a reality rests squarely on the shoulders of the parents.

09 February, 2007

The Gingerbread Man

This was the book which was sent from the kindergarten in Abhay's Book Bag. This was his reading material for the week.

And he just loves this book - mainly because he loves to sing

"Run Run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man"

Today morning, while having his breakfast too, he wanted me to read this book out to him.

While we were well into the book, he suddenly asked me

"What's the Gingerbread Man wearing ?"

It threw me off balance cos I've never really thought of what the Gingerbread Man was "Wearing".

I turned the question back at him saying "You tell me"

And Abhay said "He's wearing pajamas. Orange colour pajamas".

"Why do you call them pajamas Abhay ?" I asked him

"There's a buttons" "One Two Three Buttons" came the reply.

Actually, come to think of it, after he said that, it did kind of look like those little baby onesies with the big buttons ......

........ or is my imagination playing tricks now !!

If a Baby Duck is a Duckling - What is a Baby Sheep ?

Yesterday afternoon saw Abhay involved in quite a few activities.

We had already read (I mean I read it out to him) “The Gingerbread Man” three times and the Gingerbread Man had fallen out of his good books, for the day atleast.

We had done some alphabet tracing (else Mom keeps nagging). We’re talking a full five minutes of tracing here. And we had done some practice with numbers too. Things were smooth at first and then the monkeying around began.

32 became twenty three
54 became forty five

and so on and so forth till Mom was forced to change tracks.

Then we went on to revising the animal babies’ names.

Again things were fine at first

Baby Cat : Kitten
Baby Dog : Puppy
Baby Cow : Calf
Baby Goat : Kid
Baby Duck : Duckling
Baby Goose : Gosling

And then imagination took over

What’s a Baby Sheep Abhay ?

Pat came the reply “Sheepling”

Hmmm …..

What’s a Baby Kangaroo Abhay ?

(Now the smile on that little face was growing by the second)

“Kangarooling” came the reply.

OK ……

“What’s a Baby Pig Abhay ?” I asked him, knowing fully well that he just would not be able to resist saying “Piglet”.

“Piglet” came the reply.

Yaaaaayyy !!!!

Carried away by the success of that question,

“What’s a Baby Hen Abhay ?” I asked him

“Chicklet” came the reply accompanied by a “Ear to Ear” Grin.

And he ran away before I could catch hold of him

08 February, 2007

Years and Months

Yesterday, as we were returning home from the park, Appu asked me

“How many months old am I Mom ?”

“7 years – so do your Math Missy” I told her.

She started to work on that one.

7 times 12 plus another 2 months and she said

“That makes me 86 months old Mom”.

And that was when I remember thinking ……

“Has it been JUST 86 months since she came into this world ?”

Funny, is it not - the fact that there are such situations where numbers don’t make much sense.

Had I thought of it as 7 years, it would have seemed much longer.

Somehow, 86 months seemed like such a short span of time.

Sweet Innocence !!

Three days back, in the afternoon, the kids were watching Lilo and Stitch on Disney channel.

Seems to be some sort of variation to the original story because Stitch was shown rescuing a baby bird which had fallen from its nest onto the grass below.

Abhay’s eyes were glued to the TV as Stitch picked up the little birdie, climbed up the tree trunk, located the nest and settled the little birdie into it.

He then got some worms and opened his big mouth so that the little birdie could eat the worms.

What’s the birdie eating ?? asked Abhay

“Worms. Birds eat worms Abhay” I said.

As I took a telephone call, the little birdie was busy eating worms and Abhay and Appu were busy watching the scene unfolding on the TV.

Once I had finished with the telephone call, I came back into the living room to find Abhay standing bang in front of the TV and offering his half finished cookie to the TV.

????!!!! I wondered.

I heard him say “Birdie – want cookie ? Don’t cry. Its OK. Its OK”

When I looked at the TV screen, the little birdie was profusely shedding tears.

Abhay’s version : Birdie crying. Where is Mummy Birdie ? Mummy Birdie go to sop (Abhayism for shop) to bing (Abhayism for bring) worm.

Oh !!!!

Just how sweet can innocence get !!!

A "Pushy" Dilemma

For the past 3-4 days Abhay has been coming home from school and telling me “He pushed me” “He’s pushing me”. When I ask him “Who’s pushing you Abhay ?” there is no response.

So I’ve been going down to the kindergarten a bit early nowadays. Cos if I’m there early, then I get to see the entire class lining up from the Music Room and get ready for their toilet break.

Once that’s done, they once again line up outside in the play area and proceed onto their classroom.

Plus the fact that the little guy looks quite thrilled if he happens to see me outside the glass door and there’s a smile and a quick wave of his little palm before he goes off into his classroom.

And a couple of days back, I did see it happen. He was being pushed out of the line by another kid and the other kid seemed to get a lot of pleasure out of it. And another thing I did notice was that some of the other kids preferred to keep away or rather out of reach of that little boy.

Abhay was quite literally getting “pushed around” until one of the teachers noticed and she pulled the other boy away from the line and asked him to go to the end of the line.

The other day in the park too I noticed 3 boys (accompanied by their mothers) playing. Now these boys must have been around 4-5 years old. And there were lots of other children, some as small as 1 ½ - 2 years playing there. These 3 boys were really playing rough – not just amongst themselves but generally with the whole crowd. Anyone in their way would just get pushed or pummeled or get screamed at. So much so that I had to intervene a couple of times. Surprisingly, the mothers were just sitting around with very benevolent looks on their faces.

They said nothing – zilch !!!!

Made me wonder – are they, by their sheer inaction, giving their children an edge as regards streetsmartness and surviving in the outside world are concerned.

Do we, who insist on our children using good, mannerly speech, actually put them on the backseat by not letting their aggressive tendencies grow.

I mean, all kids have it in them. Some time or the other during the course of their growing up it does happen. They hit someone, or throw something at someone and our immediate reaction is – “You are not supposed to do that.”

While, what I noticed with the mothers of those 3 aggressive kids – the common factor – was inaction. The kids’ actions, however inappropriate or violent or hostile or intimidating, did not have any effect on those moms and consequentially, there was no reaction from them, which, I guess, in turn, was interpreted by the boys as silent approval.

First, we teach our kids to be well mannered and when something like this happens how in the name of God do you tell them
“Hey you go right ahead and push the other guy back !”

A kid above the age of say 6 or 7 years would be able to make sense of the theory

“You don’t by yourself start any trouble. But if anyone troubles you unnecessarily, you give it right back to them”.

But how do you make a 3 ½ year old understand such complexities.

Yet again, at the impressionable age they are in, is that not akin to sending out mixed signals. I mean, it is going to leave the kid wondering – just the other day I am told not to push or be mean or hit or throw things and now mom says go ahead and push another kid.

Right now, am pretty much confused !!!

07 February, 2007

The Little Violinist

Appu’s tryst with the violin began sometime towards the end of July 2005.

Both Vic and me, as parents, have always strived to maintain a easy going, informal relationship with our kids. We mercilessly pull our kids’ legs even now and if the kids think that we are going to start going easy on them in this respect as they grow older, I can only say that they sure have a second thought coming.

I still remember a lot of totally hilarious moments involving Aparna and her violin.

At times, all of us, including Appu, used to end up laughing and at many a other more sensitive moments, we’ve also struggled to stifle the laughter that threatened to rumble and explode, in an effort not to hurt Appu’s feelings.

For Appu as well, it took some getting used to – the violin I mean.

It did take a lot of hard work, a lot of practice and a lot of commitment from her and over the past year she has surely and steadily improved whilst playing the violin.

When she plays a piece now, it actually sounds like a violin whereas initially it used to sound as though someone was being strangled J I know I sound real mean when I say this, but this has been a standing joke between us and Appu.

Towards the end of her Primary Two year, Appu had taken her violin to school once to play a few pieces during their music session. Her music teacher must have been pretty impressed because she had made a special note in Appu’s Year Two Report suggesting that Appu join the KJS Junior Orchestra in her Primary Three year.

Nowadays, come Wednesday, Appu is seen going off to school with her violin in tow. Because, the kids, ably guided by their Music Teacher at school, are rehearsing for the school’s Junior Orchestra.

If all goes well and the rehearsals are on schedule, we should, in all probability, be able to see Appu playing the violin in the school’s Junior String Orchestra.

Way to go Appu, Way to go !!!!

Abhay's latest hobby ......

............ is feeding the fishes.

Come feed time, he hops onto one of the footstools.

I then give him the fish food in a small lid and he pops in 4-5 of the pellets into the fish tank, at a time.

Every now and then there comes the query “Fishy ki MumMum Kutthai” (You fed the fishes ?)

Its nice to see the little guy show concern for beings that are a lot littler than he is.

Amma, Mama ........ Nah Nah Nah

Right from the time he started to speak, till the time he was around 2 ½ years old, guess what Abhay used to call me …..

Not Amma, Not Ammai, Not Mummy, Not Mama but ………..

Maiyya !!!!

Oh Yes !! He used to call me Maiyya :-)

I still remember that little voice calling out in lilting tones
“MMMaaaiiiyaaa MMMaaaaiiiyaa”

I still get to hear Maiyya nowadays, though on rare occasions – not from Abhay though. :-)

At times, when Vic has to tell me something or ask for something across rooms, I still hear “Eh Maiiyyaaaaaa….”

05 February, 2007

Spaghetti !!

Yesterday afternoon Abhay was staring at the pooja shelf, totally involved. He was fascinated by something.

When I went into the room for something else, he points out to the diya (lamp) and in particular to the wicks in the diya. Now we use the long rolled up cotton wicks for the diya. He pointed to that and said with a huge question mark on his face

“Spaghetti ?????”

And then, as though making up his little mind on the issue, he went on to say quite confidently

“Mummy – that’s a spaghetti. One, Two Spaghetti”.

Keep em’ coming Abhay, Keep em’ coming !!!

Little Minds .... or are they ??????

Keeping Abhay’s mind occupied is no easy task. And it is not made any easier by the fact that most of the activities that would keep him engaged either require a participant (in the form of an adult)


supervision (at times, he still tries to figure out whether a LEGO block would fit into his mouth and if so, how far would it go – just an example that, but I’m sure it paints a picture of what I’m talking about here)


both !!

Sometimes I write out numbers for him at random and he calls them out, sometimes it is alphabets, small spellings and of late, teaching him to spell out his name. He’s gotten the hang of spelling his name out but the word CAT absolutely foxes him – or so he portrays. According to him, ACT is Cat and not CAT. And the matter remains unresolved till date.

And activities like tracing alphabets and writing are construed as quite mundane by the big guy. Not that he’s said that in as many words, but then his body language gives it all away. And then there is always that “Don’t want to do this” that he chooses to decree upon many a activity.

Just a couple of days back, in the afternoon, he did not seem to be in a mood to do anything but at the same time was getting right royally bored. And the outside was too cold and windy for even a casual stroll.

I was doodling on a sketch pad and he came and sat down next to me – his face quite bright with anticipation. When I asked him if he wanted me to write out something for him to read, I did get a grin in response.

With great flourish, I wrote out the capital “G” on the sketch pad and waited for his voice to pipe out the alphabet followed by the phonic interpretation. Instead, I heard him say “That’s Number Five”.

“Number Five” ?? I asked him

“That’s a Number Five” came the reply, brimming with confidence.

“Show me how”? I said

He just went to the other side of the sketch pad and said “Five”.

Oh Yes !!

A capital G written vertically does form number Five if seen horizontally.

OK – Yessireee !!!

Following the same theme, we then went on to the alphabet W which could also be read as M. Then there was S and I which looked the same both ways. Then there was Z which could also be read out as N from a different angle.

No wonder then, it is very often said that a child’s mind is incredibly flexible, creative and imaginative.