Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Art of Distraction…

Well, let me start of by saying that this is something I excel at... 

No!….Not at being able to cause distractions, although I do wish I was endowed with the gift.  I could have used it to my advantage in many uncomfortable situations..The best would have been, if I could have used that on my they made me suffer through those years of toddlerhood and beyond, the terrible 2’s 3's 4's 5's...and trust me, it doesn’t end there, it just starts to pick up  steam….the saga continues.  

Through all those tantrums, if I had only focused on ONE thing. Being able to distract them, life would have been so much simpler and easier and the children, much more in control and behaved too!

Are you the parent, who disagrees with this strategy?  Speak now or forever hold your peace!

So, what I am implying here is, I excel at getting distracted, not at being an object of distraction either!  A skill, I earned with age, must be..coz, I don’t remember being like this earlier…Well…I didn’t have to deal with a houseful of people and their schedules or, their ability to get distracted, either?! So, somewhere along the way…I seemed to have earned this as a side effect of making a home, a family.

As I thought of a name for this write up, I wondered, if anybody else had already used the title I was thinking about, to speak their mind. Just as I started to type…”art of”,  Google spit out some suggestions. The one that topped the list..

Art of Manliness…Art of Shaving….Art of

Yeah … Manliness?! I don’t know if that is an art form. Din’t realize that men are more self absorbed than women either.

Now if Manliness can be looked at artistically, then, I wasn’t wrong when I thought of  “getting distracted” as an art form too. Was I?

The Art of distraction,  needs some focus here, people! 

If I'm at the computer trying to forward something..I am distracted with the rest of the emails..if I’ve to forward a document, I get distracted with the rest of the documents in the folder, soon, I’ve forgotten what I had set out to do.

I had promised R, that I’d get the Raga Khamaj printed out…but, as I accessed the file, I got distracted with the other windows that were open, and I started editing a picture that was open.

It can happen in a split second and with such smoothness.  The mind just glides into the next frame like a graceful dancer. Its not bothered if the current task is left unfinished. 

Yesterday, I particularly took me forty five minutes from the time I started working on cooking Rice till the moment I turned the switch ON, on the rice cooker!

I had the vessel in my hand and I had totally entered the pantry with the intention to fill the vessel with a few cups of Rice. But, there I realized, the bag needs to be opened...I went out looking for a pair of scissors and never returned.

There were moments in all those forty five minutes that I remembered, I had actually set out to cook rice...but, it hardly takes any effort at all, to get myself away from the task. POOF!!!   That easy!!  Its as if a magic fairy is following me every moment and sprinkling dust on me…”Forget what you are doing…Look at this…!”

When I was finally washing the rice...I looked at the clock, to make sure if its not past lunch time… It was 45 mins past the moment I had started!

I had wanted to run to Hubby dear,…to tell him of what I had accomplished, like it was some proud achievement.

But. sanity struck and told me...

"No way darling....if you want that rice to be'd better only move after you put the rice in the cooker and set it ON!"

Or,  there would be no food for the Grandparents!  Yes..if there is RICE, there is food for the grandparents!  No Rice … No Food!

And, as soon as I was finished off with the rice, as usual,  I forgot to tell Hubby dear about my accomplishment.

Its an effort for be able to finish my cup of coffee every morning because of this gift! I could be walking anywhere in the house…as I have my coffee and place the unfinished mug somewhere…Its forgotten.

“Oh my coffee!”,  I remember later…Find it on the washing machine.

I manage to place it in the microwave…to heat it up and my children find it there when they return from school. I had habitually forgotten the coffee in the microwave again. They have permanently put up a board for me beside the microwave...A PERENNIAL reminder that says….

"Mommy your coffee!" 

This pic, I had clicked a few months ago..


The “Scream at Papa” was another reminder for the day. I think he goofed up something in the grocery list and I had wanted to -  So, they kept a reminder in there for me to remember…but, who remembers to look at a reminder!!  LUCKY PAPA.

So, as I continued with my quest on this topic..on Google. I realized, this seems to be quite widespread. There is a FB page dedicated to this ART form too.  Obviously, its a global phenomenon with "How severe" being the only constant.

The oxford defines it as follows:

A temporary departure from one subject to another more or less distantly related topic before the discussion of the first subject is resumed. A valuable technique in the art of storytelling, digression is also employed in many kinds of non-fictional writing and oratory.

It defines it as a valuable! I don't know how it can be valuable when you can never get your job done! I guess, The key word to remember in the Oxford definition of Distraction is “RESUMED”.  Being able to resume the first subject..Wow! how do you keep that thread intact? 

Anyways..I'm sure the person who can be like that...must be exceptional because the fact that he/she can go back to the initial topic they started off with, is a feat in itself. 

Are you one of those suffering likewise too? Do let me know. Not because I’m looking for answers, but,  for the sheer fact that, Misery loves company.  ha ha….

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Art of Preserving, or, LOSING….my mind?!


I come from a lower middle class family. We had minimal stuff. Growing up…we had just enough stuff at home for a family of 5. Almost like in the case of “The Three Bears” home. Even they were fortunate enough, to each have a bed to themselves. We had to share at home.

In the kitchen, we had 5 plates in the plates rack, 4 very small ones and then a larger one, for the Papa Bear, and then, there was a spare one, that was bigger. I guess it was for those days that, we had a guest? Not sure. Maybe it was GrandPapa Bears’. 

Then, there were about 4 small steel tumblers and I think a couple of bigger ones, that was for Papa Bear, my Dad, of course. The spoons was the most enviable part. I don’t remember having more than 6 spoons in the kitchen.

I grew up and one day, I got married.  I had my first chance at having my own dishes and spoons et all. It had felt awesome to get that first Oneida set of 16, spoons, forks and knives. It had felt even exciting to receive another set for a gift.  I used to take care of them very gently. I never put them through the agony of going through a wash in the dishwasher. They were well preserved.  They were my Silverware!

Then the kids came along and so many more spoons and forks and knives came along. Colored, metal, and, as the little Bears grew up, the colored ones disappeared, well, most of them. The metallics remained. Some had long handles and small pretty face, perfect for deserts and ice creams, while another set had this huge round bowl face…so perfect for soups, some were small all over, and so many more.

In the course of bringing up 4 children, I lost count of the cutlery, we had. I knew it had filled up the whole draw at one point.  I gave up on checking if all of them belonging to a set, were in there. A few times, I caught myself throwing a disposable bowl in the trash along with a spoon from a set.

Well, those were the times I recovered them. I’m sure, there must have been times when I must not have noticed too. The kids could have added to that effort too.

Still, In every face, I did keep up my practice of not putting my cutlery through the torture of having to face the dishwasher.  Even on the days when I’d been dead tired, when Hubby dear had loaded the dishwasher for me, I had requested him to leave my SKF alone. I mean, the spoons, knives and forks. That I ‘d take care of them in the morning. But, he’d never remember and they would end up taking on the dishwasher’s wrath. Come out still looking unwashed.

Today, I’ve given up..Now my children had joined in to add to the misery. Now, there’s more confusion than there was before…I hand wash stuff and put them in the dishwasher to dry…the kids will come and in an effort to help me…they’ll rinse stuff in the sink and load them with the others, into the dishwasher…and it hasn’t been turned on yet…Ok.

Now, Hubby dear comes…with the intention of helping OFCOURSE, he unloads the dishwasher and puts the washed & unwashed vessels in their respective cabinets.

I’ve been trying hard to bring a discipline to this chore of dishwashing that has totally gone haywire.  My washed dishes…mixed with the dishes the kids put in the washer , and all of them..are put back in the cabinets.

None of us are in sync!

Now, I have to wash all the dishes in every rack, in every cabinet, to fix this. 

To add salt to my wounds…Hubby dear has found a new use of my precious cutlery. He is using them as can openers?! or as a wedge to open tight lids?! Well…he must be having some good intention…I told myself when I saw a fork in this condition.


He has even managed to put my delicate spoon through the insinkerator!  We use the kind, that needs one to put a lid like switch on the garbage disposer, to turn ON. I mean, how careful can one get with the Insinkerator?! 


After a few times of this..After broken plates and bowls…I have come to the point that I don’t need anybody’s help!  So, people of my home, I am so happy with your intention to help me…only, I find dishwashing is a chore that brings so much joy to me..

To that end, I request all of you to KEEP OFF (I am screaming here!) from washing any dishes in my home. 

Somehow…the art of DELEGATION…never seems to work at home.  Its back to square one. 

Monday, September 8, 2014


Dressing up is a chore. Well, I mean there is a big difference between being tidy and dressing up. And the later is a chore. Especially if it’s a Sari! I have come to a phase of life where this feels like a chore. Who would concur with me on this?  By the time I am done, I am tired! 

Having said that…it doesn’t feel the same when it comes to buying a few. I  love Sari shopping. Now, who is with me on this one.?  What can you do, Indian Sari is such an amazing attire. It does that to you. The colors and the variety. It is my favorite too!

Every state has its own ethnic sari to boost about. Each one as special, and alluring, as the previous. Recently, it was Onam…and I did miss having a Kerala saree with me. Still recall the year, with such fondness, when we all friends had worn a Veshti Mundu for Onam and Vishu, in college.

So, most times when I do dress up in a Sari, Hubby dear will make sure to record it! To mark it. To let me know that I should be dressing up as many times, in a Sari, as many as I shop for them,

These pictures of me taken recently reminded me of a lot of things.

_DSC0778w PIC 1


_DSC0783w  PIC 2


_DSC0787w  PIC 3

1. Posing feels awkward for me..I’m never ever going to get comfortable about being photographed, even if its Hubby dear clicking. Also, its cumbersome, in the sense, that every pic he takes, I need to check it and suggest changes he needs to do. Its not easy because only, he knows what he’s looking at…How would I know .. this angle suits me?! So,Its better to be on the other side of the camera.

2. As I looked at my hair,  it reminded me of the advice my youngest daughter R, always gives me.

“Mama , you look like a boy…if you tie your hair up. Let it down!”

When ever she is with me…she will make sure to open my bun and let those few strands I have left, hang down.

3. It reminded me, how the angle of the camera can make you look bigger or slimmer than you actually are.

These shots have been taken, by a 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. On the outset, it is not the most appropriate lens for shooting a portrait. Longer focal lengths are good for portraits. Ideally an 85mm. But, I chose the 50mm here, for the space available in the room, and the 1.4 aperture that it allows, for high key shot. 

Some angles make the midsection, looks wider and in some they look slimmer. The nose appears bulged or longer in some and in others it doesn’t. It all depends on the angle you hold the camera, the focal length of the lens and how far you are from the subject. 

Perfect time to echo this from Calvin and Hobbes.

Calvin and Hobbes Photography

So, if  all you seek is the truth, in a photograph….You are not going to find it.

4. Recently, we had a Sari Tying workshop at one of our GNO. I was wondering … How much I would have gotten out of 10 for this?

Actually, the point made was very good that I concur with. To some, Sari tying is an art, it comes naturally, while to others, it’s a skill. It needs to be developed.

It’s a sin to just wrap a beautiful Sari without giving the respect it deserves.. You got to take your wear it proper. It can highlight your curves..make you look slimmer than you are.  Otherwise, all that effort the weaver puts into making that beautiful fabric is LOST! 

(Having said all these..there are many Opinions on the right way of wearing a Sari, isn’t there? Myself, I like hanging the Pallu carelessly over the shoulder, looking like a women I am today, a mom of 4 children.) 

All this talk about wearing a Sari to look slimmer,  reminded me that its no different from the concept that Calvin made clear about Photography! Its how you hide and how you show.

Now, if this is the point, then, I have a point too, as a photographer.  It’s a sin to not take a good picture of a woman who has taken the pains to wear a beautiful Sari, perfectly! All you spouses and photographers who are going to take pictures, of your wives…learn to take it right.

So, Did my Hubby do a good job here. Sure!

And this picture…it has a story of its own.


I’ve been careless about my Phone. All summer I had my kids with me and Hubby dear could reach me on our Home #, if needed. So, I never needed to have my mobile on me. I lost my phone umpteen times. Turned out misplaced..every time.

At one point, when it was more than a month that I was without a phone..we bought a new one, the Samsung S5. Cool pics it takes uh!! 

If you find a white Samsung with a Message permanently beeping on it..

”This phone belongs to Gayatri. Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx. You can be sure, it would be mine and do give me a call back at the number mentioned, to return my phone. Smile

Its September, the festival season is on us..I’m already planning to shop for a few Saris. I don’t know if I will wear them..but, shop I will. What will you choose to wear this festival season?!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Google thoughts..?!


Many times..I’m bitten by the writing bug..and I love indulging in it. My content, always revolving around my family, my children.  It helps me reflect on my life, to put my life in perspective, to weigh what is important to us, as a family.

All those little joys of life that make it so beautiful. To appreciate what we have, helps me discount, brush off, the insignificants. Most situations are common to every family, what one endures or,enjoys, about parenthood, about life in general.

It sure gives pleasure to one particular fan…Hubby dear. He loves to read what I write. He enjoys the style. It gives him an opportunity to look at simple things in our lives,from my perspective, a Mom’s Perspective!

So, here I am on any normal day, on a walk, or, washing the dishes, or, doing just about any daily business,  I’m left with a mind full of thoughts! Don’t we get lost in our thoughts in a jiffy?! Its so easy. An amazing thing this mind is.. the way it flits within a fraction of a sec, from one thought to another. So mercurial, so inconsistent. Happens to everybody. Some thoughts, they are just passing, ephemeral, while some of them are just reminders Oh-I-need-to-finish-that-today. But, what if, you’d want a particular thought to stay.

I get a lot of them…that I’d like to write about.

It feels important! Maybe I realize,  I can make an epic of this string of thoughts.

Like say…when

I remembered, the instance when Hubby dear supposedly said something mushy to me..( did seem like that to my 12 year olds!)

N, one of the triplet,  immediately remarked…

”Ewwww….I’m scarred for life!”

It reminded me of the episode from Modern Family where the children are discussing their parent’s grosses in the same context and then realize…

“Isn’t it nice that Mom and Dad are into each other…rather than being divorced or something else”

So, they are ready to bear up with all this..rather than face parents who are not interested in each other.

This made for a very interesting topic for me to write about. We all face this in our lives as parents, don’t we?

Or, the other time when Hubby dear talked to me about meeting an old Friend who had moved away after going through a very tragic event in their life.

I had asked …”How is their family is doing?”

And he had replied…”No .. I didn’t ask . I couldn’t!”

It reminded me of that quote that I had come across recently. A global world’s take on the old world cliché “Silence is Gold”

To be able to speak in many languages is,  a Valuable Asset.

To be able to keep your mouth shut in all languages, Priceless!

I got me thinking if, taking refuge in that saying made more sense or, avoiding the topic ,at the risk of appearing indifferent to their situation is?!  There is no right answer in this situation.

I’m inundated with thoughts, everyday, every moment. We all are. It’s the nature of our being. It would help us to save, many of them.

But, most times, it never gets to that point, does it?! Maybe you never got a chance to write it down, or use it, because, by the time, you can, you’ve forgotten about it, you digressed, got diverted with something else.

While they occur, while they happen, in your mind, these thoughts, they seem, so well expressed. So coherent. The whole thread makes sense. They fall into place in a proper sequence, doesn’t sound gibberish at all. But, don’t they flow so fast?

Most times, I don’t know where a particular thought will lead to. Sometimes, I start to like a sequence, as it flows. I realize, I want to write this down, But, I forget what this whole idea was conceived of, its origin, what was the thread that led me to think, what I am thinking now.
Oh..feels so clear and well connected but, what was its inception?! How do I come to that point?!

It feels frustrating. So helpless. Oh…I’ve lost it. Now, I cannot dwell on them later, I cannot share them with others and ask for, their take on the subject.

That’s when I got this visual in my head, of something taking notes as our mind wanders. That it would be great if we had a peer for Google Glasses, we could call it, say, Google thoughts!

A gizmo that can record our thoughts as they happen.  Sure there are voice recorders, but, for that we'd have to be thinking loudly, soliloquizing, don't you think?! But, who can talk as fast as can you think?!

Remember that story from Mahabharata, in which Yudhisthir, the eldest of the Pandava, is put to a a Yaksha.  He has 3 questions to answer. If he’d answer them correctly, he could live and save all his brothers too. One of the question asked to him was..

What is it that is faster than the speed of light?!

His answer:  The mind!
The speed of mind..incomprehensible, invincible, to say the least. Would there be a way to record our thoughts onto document or something?!
There are many times that you think of a topic but, don't have a pen to put them on paper. I'm sure most writers face this.  I miss it so much. It reminds me of Dumbledore's Penseive!

Someplace, where you can just place a particular memory or a thought, to be saved! Maybe you would want to visit that at a later time, to retrieve it!

Our mind is a penseive in itself.  isn’t it?! Like Dumbledore’s Penseive!

Ideally, it is supposed to do that for us, isn’t it?! But, not all of us have this advantage of being able to use it to its potential, do we?! That’s when such gizmos become essential. And I miss such a gizmo! I want something like that..

Now that I have imagined such a gizmo to exist..I couldn’t help but, think of all the complexities, as a result?!

First of all…We’d be breeding a generation that would be thought lazy to start with. There would be mind Gyms! A la Alia Bhatt’s recent viral video!

This may sound trivial in front of this next one.. Imagine if somebody can get hold of that PENSIEVE! A pensieve full of your thoughts, some of which you may not want publicized!!  How about it getting into the hands of “Big Daddy”… “Big Brother”?

Then we will end up with the concept of “Thought Police”!!

That…maybe the government would want to stop crime before it happened. So, there’ll be a database of everybody’s thoughts and they are being monitored. So, you could get arrested for thinking something bad. You could have police at your door because you child was thinking of pulling some prank that was not allowed. And the speed with which thoughts can travel..there is not limit to the possibilities.

Shouldn’t one have the independence of being able to exercise their mind as they might choose to? They could be as wild or smart or anything in their mind. As long as they don’t transform those inappropriate, reprehensible thoughts into actions, who cares what one thinks..

Still…it was an amazing thought. Smile

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy Birthday, to my walking buddy!

This summer, I walked myself to Plantar Fasciitis. And it only took me a little more than 700 miles to get there. A little bit of bad shoes, bad style of walking is all you need to reach there too. I know you don’t intend to, so, if you’ve realized that walking is your new love, make sure your shoes are good and they fit well.

But, that’s not what I’m about to write further, am I? I wanted to recall the best of those miles, walked, before the memories would seem so distant…that I may forget them. And it happened, when I walked with Hubby dear.  Its not for the walk, as much as for the talk, that I enjoyed during those long walks, be it on a beautiful Spring Morning or a humid summer evening and even on a scorching mid afternoon


The guy has this flare for talking, I kid you not. If there was some last ounce of energy left in him…I’d bet, he’d choose to use it on talking…to me! No wonder, it was he who ended up loosing weight that he didn’t need to , as we walked alongside each other, mostly trying to keep to MY pace.

All those stories, anecdotes, snippets, trivia, tidbits, quotes, that were shared. Some hilarious, some simply clever, most informative.

He doesn’t just say..doesn’t just recant an instance, without missing out on any details, his voice changes, the intensity with which he narrates,it would put an intensive aerobics workout to shame! That’s how much workout his lungs would get.

Even enacting sometimes..making it come alive for you, all the while, he’s enjoying it too. It gets him excited. He’s into the character, he’s talking about. Nice to get entertained while u get your workout, right?! Most times, we find…I’m running to keep up with his pace. We forget who is setting the pace. No wonder… the Plantar Fasciitis has shown me… bad choice!

I won’t forget that spring morning walk…I had been so tired by the middle of the walk on that particular day. We still ended up walking 10 miles. Just as my feet has started to hurt, he began this story of some viral video, a parody, BHaiHo or something. Oh was so funny..didn’t realize when we reached home.

The episode of the Pink Tongued Mango Vole has us cracking up every time, I think about it. I’ve caught myself laughing to myself, alone, in a crowd when I think about it.

If, like a child, I’d go to him and ask the story be retold, he recounts it with the same enthusiasm, he laughs so much, that his eyes start to tear. Did you know that the amusement parks get heavy tax benefits, if they house endangered species?! And that is the start of the tale of the Pink Tongued Mango Vole!

He has figured out that this is the best way to get me out of my grumpy mode. I had been really mad at him, that day. We’d argued fiercely. He was being so unreasonable, Obviously! I’d insisted that I wanted to walk alone. But, he followed. Then, I’d decided,that I’m going to give him that silent treatment as we walked, but, he’s ready with some interesting topic. Slowly, inch by inch he has managed to talk me into it, get me to smile and then I was laughing and in a few more…I am participating.

We’ve talked about business to crime investigation to Florida! Yeah Florida!! Thanks to this author, Carl Hiassen, it has a lot of talk material, which reminds me of this tidbit. The Hurricane season is the time when tugs are most active in Florida! Did you know? 

Was totally aware of the situation of the Burmese python infestation in the forests of Florida, changing the ecological system there, before it made it to the news in the Time Magazine.  There is so much he has shared with me, about the culture, people, landscape of Florida, thanks to Carl Hiassen’s books that he’d been indulging in lately.

He is a sucker for everything that pertains to law and investigation.  Everything from phrases like “Low hanging fruit” to “Sleeping with the fish”… yeah! random topics ranging from business to crime, and anything in between.

Still, there are times when I want to announce to the world around… “Hey…I don’t know who this guy is. He’s not with me!” Especially when he walks with me holding those atrociously big dumb bells in his hands so, he can have an upper body workout too! Seriously, does the guy even need it? Look at his picture!

And not only that, he has this equally ridiculous backpack in which he carries a couple of water bottles. He’s a sight to watch in that outfit. I’ve banned him from walkin with me when he comes out dressed like that! But, seems like his talk is too overpowering, intoxicating… I’ve let him put me through this torture, for a good reason, you see. I want to have a fun workout!

The other day, as we walked, a woman went past us. She was running slowly. It was a narrow walkway.Obviously, she had to pass us. As she did..she placed it, right in front of our eyes.. What? Her butt!

I don’t know if it was her height or her body suit.( Yeah, she had some outfit that was like a tightly hugging bodysuit.)

She was a well exercised women and naturally, my first instinct was to measure up, if I was as fit or more, even! Unknowingly or knowingly, I do tend to do that. Do you?!

Then my eyes settled on her butt. It was right in front of our faces, swaying away, gently, and it caught my attention. There was no escaping. You see, it was the only view available, there was no other place to look, it was either those tall trees on the side or her in the front!

In the next moment, my thought went to Hubby dear. I was sure he was looking too.  I was battling with the thought if I should check..Should I suddenly look up to him and confirm what I thought?! Or, should I just let him have his moment. Just as I was deciding to leave him alone, he started to speak. And, this is what he narrated…

“ Why are you staring at her butt?”

“No! I wasn’t starring at her butt..It was the BUTT, that was staring right at me!”

“And I think.. it would be too rude of me if I did not look back, leave the debt unpaid!”

It must have been from some TV episode or something and he has this uncanny ability of recanting things, that fit a moment, Verbatim!

We both started laughing and laughed our way through the next mile.

Happy Birthday Dear Hubby! Here’s to many many more years of talking and walking and sharing views, ofcourse!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Science T….!!!


There are some topics that R, my youngest one, (who was a first grader until June, last month),  is very passionate about. So, she will spend time reading, listening, watching videos etc  on those topics.  She is very interested in Indian Mythology and topics on Human Body, Famous Personalities, like Helen Keller etc, and ofcourse…Barbie Movies!!  

She has gotten a deal with her dad that he would buy her one movie each month. At the outset…it feels atrociously expensive..that each movie costs 15-20$ but, if we do the math, we realized,…these are the only movies at home, that gets watched more than once..infact atleast a 10 times each.

She has learnt a lot about the Human Body from a Database access that the school district provides called "Brain Pop"  .

She had even gotten her sisters to surrender their login/passwd to Brain Pop, that is for their level because, she wasn’t interested in the elementary school topics. 

She's gotten a lot of information on topics like Adulthood, Braces for teeth and every little detail that happens to us as Humans, Vaccines, Bacteria, Lightning, Fractures, Pregnancy, Babies, Blood, Clotting, Diseases, lots and lots of things that we don't pay attention to that are part of our everyday life, that we don't realize may actually be confusing to the children.

Her sisters, who were 6th graders then,  have always admonished her on accessing those topics saying that she is not allowed to know or access those topics.  She shouldn't be watching those videos and they would even take that up with to why I'm letting her access those topics.

Recently, I caught myself telling her …. like a typical Indian Parent…
“R, you seem to be so interested in Human Body and such topics, Looks like you're interested in becoming a doctor!”

I was so surprised on hearing her answer.. and helped me realize the innocence of childhood.

She said..

“No Mama,  I want to become a Science teacher and I want to teach 6th Grade!!”

What great way to get back to her sisters!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

June is Special!


June is a very special month in my life..

Its when I was blessed … 3 times !!!

Its when I became a mom for the first time…three times over.

Its when my family suddenly expanded triple fold!

Its when I experienced love so overcoming, I never knew existed.

Its when I felt such immense strength , inspite of being the weakest I’d ever been, physically.

Its when I saw my babies struggle to survive in the NICU..that I realized..if these little ones can start learning things they are not supposed to, so early in their lives (born 2 months ahead of their due date)…like cold touch, loud sounds, feel hunger,feel scared,  then, I should be able to do it as a mother of 3 babies.

Its when I realized that I could go night after night without sleep and not feel like I needed to catch up on it.

Its when I experienced totally completeness, when I fed my babies..

Its when I realized where science has reached and thanked the NICU staff for playing such a big part in my life…keeping my children safe.


Every year…June comes reminding me of our struggles, as we went through year after year..getting stronger, physically and emotionally. Me as a children, as kids, we’ve grown stronger and today..PNK feel no different from any other kid in their class, nor, do I feel different from any other mother I come across.


As I see my children, rearing to grow up.. like any other mother..I’m silently pleading with them, to slow, I may get some more of these precious days with them, into my treasure chest, some more of these priceless memories of them into my pockets, some more of their tantrums to endure, some more of their silly stories to share with, some more time to be able to teach them things I know and learnt in my life before they’d want to fly away...…and make their own nest…and year after they grow up into such beautiful human beings..I fear, of that, instead of enjoying these priceless moments with them.


This June 14th…my darling triplet daughters, PNK..turn 12. They’ve come a long way from the 3.1,  2.94,  2.25 pound babies they were born as.  Its been a struggle but, they’ve fought all odds physically and emotionally, and I cannot say enough to laud them at their accomplishments and sweet personalities that they’ve developed. Such beauties, so loving, so talented, motivated and driven to do everything they get their hands on. I feel so proud to be their mom and feel so blessed to have them in my lives…Truly truly blessed.  Thanks, dear God!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Flirting has begun!


I just heard the school bus arrive and walked to the front door to open it for PNK. I saw them get off the bus and as they walked, they stopped to talk something and then..took a few steps towards the door and then, stop to talk again.

I love watching them talk like that, with each other, after they alight from the school bus, everyday.   All that gossip that needs to be refreshed before they step inside.  Understandable, right?!  They were so immersed in their talk.

Lovely!  Life was so less complications to handle.  Every moment at school, as silly as it may feel to us, meant so much to these kids, right?!..So important.  Between the 3 of them, they have the gossip of 3 classrooms to share..  It reminded me of my childhood days.

As the bus took a turn and left..I saw my girls turn to look towards the next crossroad on the street, where the bus stopped, again. After a few seconds as the bus left the other stop, I was just about to the turn the knob on the door,that,  I heard the 3 of them..scream something loudly, looking in the direction.

It took me by shock! girls shouting on the road like that at somebody?! 

I hurriedly opened the door and went out and looked around. I wanted to know who they were screaming at. I saw a boy totally lost in his iPod crossing the road. He seemed oblivious to them. So, who were they screaming at?!

“Why are you screaming? Who are you screaming at?!”

I asked them anxiously, totally surprised at their behaviour, all set to reprimand them  for what I just saw them do…

What?!! my girls..behave like rowdies, in the neighborhood?!!!

“Its that boy at the next stop Mama!” They answered.

“What happened!”

“Mama..that boy is very mean..he always tells mean stuff to K!”, N remarked.

“What did he say?”

Today, he looked at K and said..

“Did you just fart?  Because, you totally blew me away!”

I put my fingers on my eyes, just in stop them  from popping out. Wow…!, it hit me..

“OMG!! Really?! Who is that boy? “,  I asked trying to peep outside only to find tiny figures, walking away at the next crossroad.

Suddenly, PNK realized that maybe Mama is going to take this matter up with the boy…

“Mama, Mama..That’s ok!…Its OK!  I don’t mind it!”, K tried to assure me…I could almost see her thinking, why did she even mention it to me.

“I’m not mad at him!”,  she was backing away!

“I’m not going to be mad .. everytime somebody says something!”, she tried convincing me.

Ok then!!, I said and walked away.

Well..I’m sure, my children may have a lot of complaints growing up, about me, but, one complaint that will not figure in the list will be, standing up for them! Smile 

Still, In my mind … I couldn’t help but smile and feel “WOW!!”

What can I say, I was Totally speechless at the boy’s remark!!  Really naughty!!

In the evening as I recounted the episode to Hubby dear….he burst out laughing and announced

“Now…The Flirting has just begun!”

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Principal Director of Operations


I’m sure everybody has watched the video that had been circulating the web from a few weeks ago about the job with this title, “Director of Operations”.

Requirements: 135+ hours per week, no breaks, unlimited patience, ability to wear several hats….

Its when a woman asks … “Is that even legal?!!” after hearing to the job requirements,  that you realize what it takes to be a mom!

It was amazing that my children noticed it too, that they came up with this wonderful idea to Honor me for this job that I had taken up. They created a card…just for me.







While the idea was was a complete joy to know… Oh! they realize, they appreciate, what I do for them as their mom. The tears were a pleasant side effect. Thanking me for taking up this job? A topping on the cake.

But, the part that sent us on this ride of laughter was when N explained their struggle at getting the images, my images,  without having to violate my copyrights!

They had used all the pictures of themselves, that I had published, in making the card. They didn’t know where to find the images on my computer and couldn’t ask me. They even thought of copying the images from my website…but, that would be stealing..right?!!

N:   I didn’t want to violate your copyrights, mama.

So, N  got the images from Google Images to be safe!! And in their own version of respecting my copyrights, they stole the images, lawfully, from Google Images and got the card printed..

Judge Papa:

OK…now that you know that doesn’t mean u’ve not violated copyright issues…lets hold a hearing in the family court.


You owe Mama all your pocket money for the next 10 years to be paid in cash to Mama. Plus, 3000 hours of house service to be performed on a weekly basis until you go to college.

----xxxx SETTLED xxxx-----

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Omnipresent Pencil


Pencil pencil everywhere,

Not one to write with..

You can wear a pencil for a coat,

Or, even push your feet into one for a shoe,

as you find them waiting for the closet.

You can have a pencil for breakfast,

Or, a crunchy, pinching lunch…

as they wait for you in the kitchen, beside your pancake.

You can sleep on a sturdy slim pencil,

Or, cover yourselves with a blanket of pencils,

as they wait for you on the bed or under!

You can find these pesky creatures..everywhere..

studded like gems, in your home.

if your home is full of children or NONE!!

They make you realize…how valuable it is,

to have a pencil with a point..just as you were in the

need to write down your thoughts.

They make holes in your pockets and lead to a home full

of sharpeners … just because you wanted to write

down a note or a check!

My home is full of these things..that is, pencils without points!

I wonder, if it would be different if I weren’t a mother.

Cause…it makes life easier…to blame everything on my famous 5!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Keeping in touch!!


How do children here in the USA, keep in touch with their grand parents in India? Each of these generations.., them, their parents, their grandparents..have come to belong to a different culture, out of sync with each other. The parents are totally confused between their western home and an eastern upbringing. The grandparents feel displaced when they come to the western home and their grand kids are caught up in the middle with the love for their grandparents totally intact, but, no way to express.

My home is a concoction of languages and the kids have taken to English and only English. They understand Hindi, Telugu and the sounds of Marathi and Kannada seem familiar too, but, don’t expect them to mouth any words from any of these languages…so what, if they have been going to Hindi Class since 3-4 years or that Mom had talked to them in Hindi until they started pre-school and changed her!

(  How can I forget the Spanish connection from School?!! )

Hubby dear calls his old parents every morning, checking on them. Grandma Palle feels the call incomplete without hearing her grand daughter, R’s voice. Now, how do 2 people with different background, different languages, accents and hearing difficulties, converse with each other?!

Well, They have found a way! The conversation hasn’t changed in years…since R was 3 years old.  It’s the same set of words they speak with each other every single day. This way each of them understands what the other is mouthing on the other side of the line. In those limited set of words…they have found a way to say

“I love you dear!!”

“I love you grandma!!”

Here is their conversation…

“Hello Aaji!”

“Hello Richa!!”

“Pata padanaa?!”  (Shall I sing to you a song?!)

“Paadu Talli!”        (Sing My Dear!!)

“Sa sings the sunflower,

Re rings out the red roses,

Ga giggles the gulmohar

Ma murmurs the marigold,

Pa pops the pretty poppies

Dha dance the Dhalia,

Ni not the Neem flower,

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa…

Sa Ni Dha Pa Ma Ga Re Sa.”

Then R continues with a Hindustani Classical Song that she has started to sing from a year and a half back..having gotten fed up with the Twinkle Twinkle number she used to do since she was 3 years old.

Some memories are meant to be held for ever…and this is one of them.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014



After years of using my creative energies to try to fool my children and Hubby dear, on this day…I'm so happy that I don't have to do that anymore...Its the time for my children to get their "gotchas" now!  Its time for redemption…

As I opened to refrigerator to heat some rotis this morning..I went into a fit of laughter when I saw this...N’s picture that I had clicked way back in 2011, maybe..advertising for the Rotis!



As I was laughing downstairs…they left a gift for Papa upstairs…They left Poop on his potty chair!!  Well not exactly….They couldn’t have…right?!

They wet and crushed up brown construction paper to look like poop and left it on the potty chair…

I’ll save you the grosses and leave you with this picture.


They were waiting downstairs for his reaction….and he came out and said…

“UH!!! very funny!”

And they left another gift for us…They had hoped that it would fool me..but, Papa dear took the trophy.


He thought they were trying to play some kind of visual trick to make it appear like water inside…and he did lift the glass!!! Even the condensation..didn’t make him think. Luckily, he was quick enough to guess..that was real, and saved a ton of water from flowing out.

Well whoever picks that glass up…the cleaning is on ME, right?!

So, I guess that prank was for me, after all.  I have to think of a way to lift that glass now…without getting the water to not just spill on the counter top but….flow down into the cabinets under it!! Sad smile

I had so wanted to write that all this was a hoax…but, couldn’t deprive the PNK triplets team of their Gotchas, right?!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Do families get connected and smarter..with smart phones?–Part 2


I’m sure all of you have unique ways, clever ways, to get the best of the gizmo of the century, your smart phone.  Did you meddle with the ringtones ever, on your smart phone?! Hubby dear loves talking on his phone.

Remember those banners at some holiday shops that mention…

“Shirts and Shoes a must”.

Well, if Hubby dear was to write that..he would write a 3S’s rule.

Shirts, Shoes and Smart phones.

His phone is almost like his work place. So, he makes a lot of calls and gets a lot of them too. Even I call him sometimes!!  So, he chose a tune to tell himself, that, it’s the WIFE. Maybe to ignore the call..while, he tells me..

“I don’t want to miss your call, dear!” Smile

Whatever his must be irresistable. 5 of us, all girls, waiting to call him, wanting to talk to him. 

And he chose an apt ringtone. You know, that infamous 

“Why this,  why this,  Kolaveri di!”

I guess..when this ringtone plays, on a man’s phone…it’s a no brainer to any Indian, that, it must be the BOSS!

But, why let the world know that you are being such a tortured soul?

Which brings to mind, another TDH study. It mentioned that married men live longer compared to unmarried.

( Ok! all you self deserving woman, you would agree with me..when I say, there is no point trying to find,  if this opinion is right or wrong. Its an opinion! An opinion made after conducting a well rehearsed study…Oops! I mean a well researched study.  I did find this opinion on the internet… )

The line clearly mentioned

“Married men live longer compared to unmarried man!”

There was no reference to any race/ethnicity. It was a statement about all men.

So, one evening when we all sat for dinner..and some topic came up to poke me, in the eye…I blurted out…to Hubby dear..

“ No wonder married men live longer…You don’t marry women, you marry punching bags, so that you can de-stress yourselves and live longer”

I was in cloud nine when my children seconded me as Papa tried to argue back. They told him..

“ Daddy, Don’t you know the 3 rules of marriage?! You told it yourself!”

Rule 1. The wife is the boss.

Rule 2: The boss is always right.

Rule 3: And if the boss is wrong, go back to rule 1.

(Who ever wrote these set of rules..must have been a brilliant programmer, right?!  They wanted to make the men folk suffer.  I have this weird imagination. I am imagining “The Man”, repeatedly trying to go back to rule #1 in the hope of getting that break!  )

These clichéd, over hammered rules, as flat as it sounds came back to save me once again and bite Papa dear, for so graciously sharing his loka gyana with his girls.

But Papa dear, who is known for his quick wit…got the last word.  He ended the conversation..saying

“And this punching bag hits!!”

Of course, I remember I was going to say something about ringtones.  We had watched this episode on TV, where, the mother gets a call from the daughter, and, her phone rings as

“Mom…pick up the phone!”

So, as we drove during the weekend, a few weeks ago…Tunnnnnnggg!!! an idea struck me. 

“Why don’t we record our children’s songs as the ringtones for our phones?”, I suggested to Hubby dear.

“Great Idea!”,  Hubby dear was delighted.

So, we went about using these smart devices to record their songs and set them as the respective ringtones, N’s song as the ringtone, for when she calls me,  P’s song as the ringtone and K’s song as the ringtone, for when they call me…on my phone.

Only problem being,  I never pick calls on my mobile…well mostly!

Then Hubby dear came up with this idea. He recorded this as the ringtone…for when he would call me.

“ OSAI PELLAAMA!! PHONE ETTHU! “, and his tone got exclamatory as the no: of repetitions increased.

Translation: A rustic way of calling your wife..asking her to pick up the call.

After that, it became impossible for me, to miss Hubby dear’s calls. Most of the calls were picked the instant I heard his voice. I didn’t realize what an embarrassment I was headed for.

The worst time was, when the phone rang, while I was in the shower at the gym…after I had finished my swim. 

Can you imagine a Man’s voice coming from a shower in the Women’s Locker Room?!!!

Even the fact that I would wrap the bag up in 4-5 towels didn’t help curbing the voice down. Well…it does take time to wipe your hands dry and then reach for the phone, doesn’t it?!

I consistently forgot to change back the ringtone..after I was out of the situation.

Recently, Hubby dear said..that his OLD phone wasn’t receiving the calls as well as MY new Samsung S4.  Well… smart phones are only as smart as the user, right?! Smile

He made a strong case for why I should be using his KHATARA. As giving as I am..I agreed. One fine day the exchange happened and the numbers were switched.

Today, his phone rings in this tune for every phone call…

“oh tora saajan … aa-yo tore desh”, the song from, I hate love stories.

I have no clue how that setting happened. Hubby dear insists, that, it was the ringtone on my phone before we exchanged. With everything reset, both of us haven’t had a chance or the mind to go about changing our ringtones.

I’m just happy that I don’t have a man shouting from my bathroom, while I shower at the gym, after my swim, asking me to pick up the call.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Do families get connected and smarter..with smart phones?!–Part 1


We’re a home full of smartphone owners. A family that is,  “totally connected” .. as my children would put it. The only problem is, only one of them picks up the phone, to stay connected and I haven’t gotten smarter in spite of, mine! 

Getting their cellphones for their 11 birthday was the biggest event last year, for my girls, not to mention the resulting HOLE it made in Papa’s pockets.

The girls have strict instructions not to answer calls other than their parent’s and not to share their phone numbers with anybody other than their immediate family and some friends. They’ve been quite abiding by it and hopefully they will continue to do so.

At school, they aren’t allowed phones in their classrooms. So, their phones were safely tucked away, in their lockers, while, I had tried to reach them that day..when I couldn’t find my voice recorder and was in this determined mood to learn Raag Hamsadhawani…that my music teacher had recorded the previous day. 

Well…wasn’t that the only reason I had given my permission, to get them the phones?! So that, I could reach them anytime, when I’m not able to find something I was looking for!!!

WELL,  that intent turned out to be a bummer. If there is a home that would win an equivalent of a Razzie award, for misplaced stuff, no need to look further..It’ll be mine. 

Let me make myself clear.

“ I’m never able to find anything that I share with my children.” 

I’m never able to find anything related to our music classes, notes, recordings, and now even the stuff in my kitchen disappears. Last year, in the name of Mom, the girls, got another pair of UGGs and do I ever find it when I want to wear it?! 


I’m totally scared now,..that they are reaching to be my size. I will not be able to find my dresses as well. Well…I guess, I’m safe to some extent. I mostly wear Indian clothes and my children don’t wear Indian to School, unless there is a change in the fashion sense.

What is this about girls being so obsessed with their parent’s clothes?!  Anybody has any logical reason to give me? I remember myself trying out my Mom’s sarees when she used to be away at work and had mentally reserved so many for myself. 

My youngest child, R, is already reserving all my dupattas for herself. When I told her that they are too big for her. She remarks…

“Mama they are perfect as a sari for me…on my lehenga!”

So, there goes my well collected hand crafted unique dupattas that I haven’t gotten a chance to show off..since, I became a MOM!

I had bought most of my Indian dresses for the sake of those gorgeous dupattas, and imagine handling that… when you have to deal with Almost choked myself a number of times as I juggled with my children.

I know this post was about being connected,…especially about smart phones. How people are getting smarter, using smart phones! next point is precisely that.

With smart phones..we’ve entered of new realm of multi-tasking.  Haven’t we?! And we’er just starting. Shopping, banking, business deals, catching up…a click away.

Wouldn’t it be wow..if you could juggle so many tasks and end up completing each of them successfully and do a good job of it, too?!  How about texting while you drive?! How about crossing the road while you are texting?! Yeah..dangerous situations. We’er not just dealing drunk driving, now.

Scares me .. how I should even discipline my children so, they are safe and keep others safe.

Well..this post was not about tackling these serious situations that we’ve become exposed to, with the introduction of smart phones but, on a lighter’s about poking fun at myself.

Does focus and efficiency go hand in hand with Multi-Tasking?

Do smart phones aid us in that effort?

I came across this recent opinion/study about smart phones, that said, that smart phones making people become super multi-taskers, is a Myth.

See, It lets you browse things while you wait on something else, lets you play games while you wait for your program to compile, lets you whatsapp while you wait for your child at the activity center or whatever the case…

According to some TDH study …its making people less efficient. 

(TDH =Tall Dark and Handsome?!…ugg no! I’m way passed the M&B days now. Ain’t I? How about Tom Dick and Harry"? Do you have a better suggestion?! Do let me know.)

That study says…our bodies, our minds are not meant to multi task..

OK..a game to prove it.

Try saying the alpahbets,  A through Z and then count 1-26 as fast as you can. Note down the time taken. Then do this..

A, 1, 2, B, 3, C…..and so on and take the time down.  Don’t you see that you do the first task faster?!

Yeah..well, that’s the argument. But, I can’t imagine not keeping the Rice to cook, while I make the daal, or wash the dishes, or put a load of laundry in between cooking.  If I had done like they suggested..I would taken 2 hours instead of one to finish my tasks, won’t I?

Well…maybe that study was pointing to the multi tasking we do at work, on our computers,  on our smart phones?!

( Did I mention,  how hard it was for me, to ignore that Facebook notification, and, all those outlook emails that flashed,  as I was typing this blog!  Imagine being bombared with such messages while you cook up an algorithm.)

As I drove today, I was mentally listing down all the things I was going to finish during the day…I almost forgot where I was driving to!! I even had the music down. So, I wasn’t even listening, while I thought and drove.

So much for my argument. I guess, some people are not meant to multi task.

Well…for all the problems that smart phones may have and maybe causing our society, as we speak..It has made life easier for most of us in many ways.

My children now..text us from their activity class

“Daddy come and sign us out, we’er done.”

It gives us the scope to run an errand while they are engaged. It gives us the scope to not be running back..if the class is going to be delayed.

We’ve been able to message our kids, if we’d be missing when their school bus arrives..

“Hey kids..just a few minutes away.”

They’ve been able to socialize with their neighbor friends through out this winter…making plans for any activity they would like to get together about. The phones have gotten into photography…and wonder…why their images don’t look like the one that Mom takes with her camera…AH!!  isn’t that, the first step towards the quest for perfection? The realization. Next, they’ll want to know the reason.

A few weeks ago, I was surprised to find this message from Papa on our whatsapp group.


and there was a reply too!!


Can you imagine pulling your feet out of the blanket, to walk over to their room..after you’ve tucked yourself in bed..with the winter we were facing. Who could blame him?! Smile with tongue out

Friday, March 7, 2014

Winter, this time…


Here’s a look at a normal winter morning this my part of the world.  If you've read/watched Hunger games...There is a word that's given a lot of importance. I'm referring to the word "HOPE"!  Its powerful, its said and indeed it is!

Yes...its with that hope that the kids here, went ... to school every morning without any it a normal opening or a delayed opening. Its with the same hope that they would look out the window, every morning, to see if it's going to be 7feet of snow, so they’ll have a day off! Ok..maybe 7inches!  Well, the song had mentioned 7 feet of snow Smile

They went out everyday, donning all the 101 paraphernalia that MOM's rules didn't make any compromises on...without any complaints. They coughed through the other days..without troubling mom with the knowledge of the pain their throats were suffering except for that one time..when P came to tell me...
"I think, I felt something rip inside my throat" 
And all those trips to urgent cares..through falling snow or already snowed in roads, trying to keep the vehicle from sliding onto the on-coming traffic on a dark street! Those endless…snow shoveling..that Hubby dear endured, every keep the walkways ready for the kids to walk to their bus.

All of this..with the Hope that Winter is not here to stay.

They went to school today,..with the Hope that ... Spring is around the corner.

Hope is indeed very powerful.

Even as there's more snow around…to melt, the kids were ecstatic that today's high's will be in the 40s F. Well, after days of sub zero arctic temperatures..anybody is going to be happy with a 0C, right?!

Hubby dear proclaimed that he broke a sweat in his coat and had to unzip it!! :-) 

Atleast the day light is going to be around for some more after this weekend.

Daylight savings this weekend…you see!

The email from school announced that the first day of spring, March 20th, will be celebrated with no homeworks and assignments or projects…

Kudos to all the kids and the hope that next week is going to be warmer than this week. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Priceless moments.


My youngest daughter, R, recently turned 7. She loves talking. And, she loves talking to me! An honor, I plan to lap up every bit of. Her questions and remarks are so entertaining. It’s a treat for my ears.  She will curl up in my lap, her legs still hanging out and tell me..

“Look…I’m still your little baby”

and in the next few moments…

“I’m going to marry an Indian when I grow up…it most probably is going to be a Patel or a Shah”, she says unabashedly.

That took me by surprise.  I mean, if you get to check the yellow pages of New Jersey. You’ll find pages and pages of phone numbers, with the last name, Patel and Shah. So, if we were to go by Statistics and the fact that she’ll be marrying an Indian, Probability states that it most probably will be a Patel or a Shah!!  When did she get into the world of Statistics?!

One moment she will want to sip milk of the Sippy cup,  and talk with a lisp  trying to sound like a toddler!!!  This innate feeling in her that she is growing up too fast, that, she’ll soon be loosing that cozy spot of being the little one at home… and the next moment … she’s worried that she’ll have to go through child birth when she grows up and she’s too scared to deal with it.

I’ve even tried pointing her to the fact that college and career choices will be much more difficult things that she’ll be dealing with even before she can think of child birth. But, she seems enthralled by the fact that we humans create another inside of us and that she’ll be getting that opportunity too, when she grows up.

She has even decided her age when she will be doing all this.  Numbers seems to be her strong point and she keeps track of people’s ages and years during which year, who did what. So,  going with common Statistics again..she has decided the age when she’ll be married and have children. Luckily..the order of this seems good enough for me!! Smile



As surprising as these moments is these priceless little nothings that are worth preserving, so that you can recall these tidbits about her at a later date. It would be so much fun, pulling her leg..

I had recently come across a saying…”The way to measure if you are rich is, if you have managed to have something that money can’t buy”.

Its moments like these that make us, Moms, the richest in the world , Don’t they?!

As I drive her to a birthday party, one day, I take a few sips of Water from a bottle, while I was waiting at a traffic light.  She reminds me just in time that this is going to get me arrested.

“Mama…you know Justin Bieber got arrested because he was drinking while driving.  You are not supposed to drink and drive!”, she reminds me.

Recently, when I was supposed to go to a party…she refused to go the party because she wanted to be home alone with me.

“I don’t want to go to the party.  I want to be with Mama at home.”, she said without a second thought.

Even as her sisters left..she was happy to be home with me.  While I washed the dishes..she kept yapping away, giving me lots of URBAN gyan.

She asked me..

“Mommy… you know what gtgttb is?”

Got to go…and something else…I said.

“Got to go to the bathroom!”, she said.

Then , she asked me..

“Do you know…what YRW is?”

No! , I said.

“It means , You are weird, Not that I’m ever going to use that!”, she completes in the same breath.

As she continued giving me some more of her Urban Gyan..all in bits and pieces, very obvious that she’d been picking up from her elder Triplet sisters, I was reminded of the words that Claire said in one of the episodes of Modern Family.

“Raising a kid is like sending a rocket ship to the moon. You spend the early years in constant contact and then one day around the teenage years they go around the dark side and then they are gone”.

Hopefully, It won’t be like that. In the meantime, let me enjoy these priceless moments with R, as she explains me the difference between Butterfly Fairies and Crystal Fairies.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Ubiquitous Diary(S?!)


From the time the triplets were toddlers..I remember, most afternoons, we’d be sitting together drawing and coloring. I used to have them around, with me in the center and I would draw to them…profiles of different animals. How would you distinguish between a Rabbit and a Mouse, in the drawing?! By its ears!!

I had their playroom walls full of drawing boards so, at any moment, each of them would have a board to herself. Other than toys..the closets were full of activity books and cute little diaries that I could find in the market. Seemed like I was more fascinated by those cute diaries than them. Any paper scrap would have done for them, I’m sure.

They used to fill all those little diaries with their drawings and as they started to write…they started to emulate their writings after the books they read…They started to pick after writing styles that attracted them, and illustrations was a big part of their writings, then.  I remember, a first grade teacher pointing out to me that, she discouraged them from drawing and encouraged them to write first, because,…they were so into it and would spend all of the time in the illustrations itself Smile

The Diary of the Wimpy Kid was the one that helped them take a direction in journaling. It helped them set their illustration style. Today, they are 11 years old and they still continue to write in their diaries, and illustrations is still a big part of it. R on the other hand loves to read their diaries and break all rules … her elder triplet sisters set for their diaries.

For a long time, the girls have gotten in the habit of taking their reading to the bathroom, to be precise, The Loo!

They read there and sometimes I’ve even found them with their laptops! Often engrossed, they forget that they are on a potty seat and its time to finish!

Well..easy to follow, R has taken to this habit too.  I mean…reading on the toilet seat! Only, she loves reading her sister’s diaries. She has found our bathroom to be a safe haven to read her sister’s diaries. Recently, I found a diary, in my bathroom. It was a cute little white bound diary and had these big words written on them.

Keep Calm and Don’t Read

Well…I could keep calm because..that’s the only way I’d be out of the Loo quick..right?!  But, the Don’t read was too good to Ignore, so, I opened the diary..and found out it belonged to one of the triplets…Reading it calmed me down further.  It was cute and had entries from summer of last year..around the triplet’s birthday..

It continued up until December of last year and then abruptly stopped.  She had written  about what she was hoping to get for Christmas.. Since, Daddy dear had told them that their choices were too expensive and turned them down…she’d put in her hopes and every day, had an entry that talked about how she suspected Daddy dear to be fooling them..that it must have been that package that came that morning…She had noticed how Daddy had ran out to get to it.

Sitting at the Dinner table today..suddenly, Papa mentions about the Diary in the Loo….The Calming Diary that tells you to read it by telling you, not to read it!

“Oh…why don’t you give me another diary to read!” , he says.

Suddenly…all the girls were starring at him, all baffled.

“That diary…that says to keep calm and don’t read!! I’m tired reading it everyday…I want another one now!”, he clarifies.

Now the girls are all starring with “squinchy”  eyes at R.

R!!!!!, they shout together at her.

Daddy dear continues..mockingly..

“What! There are hardly any entries in there..You start off last summer and write a little about when you school starts and then you jump to DEC?!!”

I joined in with him.

“Yeah!!…. and as soon as they got their UGGS, she stops writing!”, I say.

N is embarrassed and shocked that both of us had peeked into her diary….inspite of the “KEEP CALM AND DON’T READ!!” instruction.

She exclaims…

“Mumma…you too!!!”

“You read it too!”

So, thanks to R, my youngest daughter…I got a peek into some of my daughter’s unshared moments..or, so I thought. 

Well, The question had remained…hadn’t it? 

I asked again.

“WHy did you stop writing..?”

“I have another diary. I write in several”,  she replied.

Oh!!, she keeps the harmless ones around to be found?!!!

Anyways..Today, Papa comes to me at bedtime and says..

“There’s another diary in the bathroom, who’s is that?!”

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Trust … Mom or Google?!


Recently, When I went to the common computer at home, I found this typed on Google’s homepage.

“Is No a bad word?”

I eventually, found out that, R, my youngest daughter was the one who was in the quest for finding that answer. She hadn’t thought of asking her Mom for an answer. She went to Google with her question.

The situation that led to it, was obvious. I had heard some arguing sounds of her with her sisters  and her sisters..being fed up with her constant “NO!!!” must have told her that it’s a bad word..and R, who prides herself on making the right choices…well…let’s say “Good” choices, as spelled by her teacher, must have been baffled at this revelation.

She was sure..that if she went to Mom, Mom would question her of the situation and depending on that..she would surely answer..

“Yeah..that’s a bad word”

or, she could end up being reprimanded on her behavior..

She wanted an unprejudiced answer. Mom is full of prejudices. She is going to pre judge her and not concentrate on giving her a correct answer. She trusts Google for that!

As a parent, You think that you treat your children fair and square. You know your children so much that even before a situation is presented to you…you almost know, which child would be the culprit, right?!…So much for being fair and square!!

But, children are not as naïve as you think them to be. They guess this of their parents in the slightest of ways. So, I’m happy that Google could offer itself as a solution, which is fine.

But, how can you as a parent trust it..when the actual results of the search had pointed her to websites that leads her to a list of so many bad words she wasn’t even aware of….in its quest for being unprejudiced?!!

The other day…she was doing a school homework on word sort. As I checked her homework..I wanted to point her to a mistake that she’d done.

Luckily for her…almost all words had the first letters different, so the sort was ok..but, for 2 words  Candy and Cards.

She had cards listed before candy. As I pointed to her that candy preceeds cards…she went into a tantrum mode…frustrated, that her mom doesn’t understand how her teacher teaches or, how her homework is supposed to be done.
She tried explaining to me..that since both the words start with C, it doesn’t matter in what order they are placed.

She taught me that such an order is called..”Alphabetical!”

She didn’t give me a chance to talk another word.

Wondering how I can salvage the situation…Suddenly, a bulb glowed..and I thought, why not take the help of Mr. Computer.  I told her …

“Let’s put all these words on the internet and ask it to sort them..and then, you can see in what order they are placed, ok?!”

Immediately, I had her attention.

She didn’t notice that I had searched for a word sorter on the internet..But, we did get a text box where we could input the words and a button that said “SORT A-Z” waiting there, to be pressed.

And Voila!  The sort ended up in the sequence I had suggested.

After that..I had all her ears.  I explained her that once a letter matches..we jump over to the next letter in a word, and sort them.

Lucky for me…I had the internet to help me solve my problem. And Unlucky for me..the kids, trust the internet to my wisdom.

I had come across this quote recently,

“Respect your parents..They graduated without Google”

In guess, if the kids were given a chance at the quote they would have worded it this way.

“Beware of your parents…They graduated without Google”

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Everyday–a bonfire of my emotions.


Everyday...I go through this gamut of emotions when it comes to my children. They make me feel calm, happy, foolish, proud, surprised, angry, energetic, tired, frustrated and even blessed for being their mother.  All in a day.  The situations may vary but, the emotions are the same!

Even if they spend most part of the day in school or have a snow day off, it’s the same!!!  I don't know if that's the case with all the moms...but, that's how it is with me.

Not a day goes by..that I'm not proud of them..and not a day goes by, when I'm not totally, really totally frustrated with them and wonder how I’m going to survive another day.

Not a day passes … when I’m not already tired when I wake up in the morning..and by the time..I’ve packed my fourth child through the door,…to school, my energy for the day is DONE! I am driven by this unstoppable desire that I want to just sit down..and then..I don’t want to think anything..I don’t want to do anything..I just want to zone out!

I don’t know how I pick myself up from there and the rest of the day happens. If my children were to give me a name, I think my other name would be “Tired”!

How can Motherhood feel so joyful and feel so enervating at the same time?! You can love your children so much and be angry, frustrated with them in the next few minutes..or, hours?!! 

Yeah..could you imagine telling them…all weekend that they need to get things signed and ready and they come to you just as their bus is a few minutes away..that, they need to get something signed or they need money for some event?!!! Would you yell at them? What would you do at that moment?  I still can’t help but, to kiss them bye…as they leave the door, to school, after I had yelled at them..just a few minutes ago.

Well .. mosaic of emotions at the Palle residence. My children can woe me, with their wonderful creations in the kitchen. Just look at those wonderful cakes they created for Papa dear’s birthday and mine!! All without my knowledge. So, out of the box recipe..with limited resources. No oven cake stove!!

Mommy's Birthday! 


This morning they had a day off from school because of snow….as usual! They expect to make their own breakfast..on holidays. So, they cooked a wonderful breakfast and passed on a plate for me too!  It was a menu of pancakes and veggie Omelette. It was delicious, so yummylicious!!

But when I entered the kitchen to prepare was a sight I never want to see ever again. All the cut veggies..left on the cutting mat, egg shells not cleaned up..I have to admit..I lost my cool. Took me an hour to get the sanity back to my kitchen..I had just vowed to never to let them cook anything else .. and it was teatime. The tea they served us was such a life saver. A perfect end to the day.

They mesmerize me with their singing and score the highest marks in their music exam..yeah all! they topped everybody. Their music teacher, totally impressed with them, announced,

“The Palle sisters will start of the Yearly recital Solo, (well! as solo as solo can be..they are 3 sisters!) with a Raag of their choice”.

A very rare chance that she has never given to anybody. Which mom won’t be proud of such kids?!

But then, they will never take up the onus of the practice. They will always have an excuse. Either the homework is too much..or, its too many activities to handle. Its an ordeal to get them to practice.

When I sing an english song..they inadvertently..laugh at the way I make it sound so Indian.  Then..almost immediately they will apologize to me..lest it hurt me, even as I tell them..I am much tougher than that!! Well..I get my sweet revenge when I sit with them as they practice their Indian classical music.

They will fight with each other…and just as soon as, I am mad with any one of them..they will team up together and stand up for each other. It’s a joy to watch them be loyal to each other and so exhausting to get one of them to rat on the other!

They inspire me to do my best. When P was looking for me, one weekend, she wondered if I had gone to the gym. Papa dear mentioned to her..

“Mama doesn’t go to the gym on weekends.”

She asks

“Why not?!”

Sometimes I wonder..if its me who should be setting my expectations of her..or, the other way around?! Either way…it inspires me to do show them that its important to keep fit.

Recently, When an electrician inadvertently set of the smoke alarm at home, R was so confident that her dad would never let such things happen if he were to fix something. The fact that her dad had gotten up and fixed a rogue alarm that was going off in the middle of the night by changing the battery had made him her, Hero!

In spite of my explanations..she remained adamant that her dad is a better fixer.  This blind faith with which they look up to you….it raises the bar on a parent!

Sitting in my room..I hear them humming tunes. Sometimes, they are familiar tunes and other times, something new. Those gentle hums travelling across the hallways..Blissful!

Even those giggles they share among themselves. It makes me feel blessed.  Blessed for being able to provide those happy moments to my children.  I don’t feel like walking over to their room and disturbing the equilibrium they’ve achieved to be giggling like that. I just want those moments to last…and just revel in them..from where I am.

Just as much as they giggle…it’s a sight to watch them stress out!!

The other day .. we were at an event to audition for their talent. It was a sight watching N’s drama. She just couldn’t’ wouldn’t stop crying. Hubby dear and me tried hard to calm her and even warn her that it would mess her voice. Nothing helped…except being done with her turn. How do you deal with talented kids who aren’t brave enough to face it?!

Yeah..and not to forget all that that goes make the day happen…the dishes, the laundry, the food..!!

It’s a mad house, I tell you! Everyday! But, at the end of the day…when I see them as they all get ready to bed..As I wait for their lights to go off…watching from my room..Another day done..Another day conquered..Another moment of know that my kids are safe and happy!

Motherhood!! I wouldn’t do it any other way..

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Affection…in Public?!


Public display of affection and love….are you comfortable with that?! Could be in any form..could just be an innocent peck on your cheek by your spouse/partner or a tight hug. Do you like it?

I used to find that very uncomfortable. I still feel embarrassed. But, Hubby dear has always been fine with that. Luckily for him…we met and our romance blossomed here in USA. We married here, live here.  So, whenever he did try being romantic with me in public..we didn’t have people turning their head and giving us odd stares…it was normal.  For me…it was uncomfortable nonetheless.


When Hubby dear would hug me or even give me a light peck on the impulsive reaction would be to look around and make sure..nobody was watching us and then deal with Hubby dear. He used to laugh at me…for doing that.

He had always told me that my eyes reminded him of the Deer…always scared and checking around. 

Fast forward so many years…we now have a house full of kids and sometimes even our parents, and, I still keep using my Deer eyes. Until the kids were 3-5 years old…we didn’t have any problems with displaying our affections in front of the kids. Then…Papa started being very clever. He would take the permission of his children..

“Mama deserves a kiss right?!” , he would ask them.

They would nod innocently and laugh at my reaction.  Today, he tries that with Richa and she pushes him away and says…

“No! you can’t kiss Mama, she is mine!”

and at other times she will side with Papa and say..

“ have to kiss Mama”

They enjoy seeing their parents in love. Every child does! But, the show of affection should be decent. They cannot, however, stand to see their parents being too physical.

We call one of our kid.. “The Cop”

Its so hard to get a few private moments as husband and wife. She can always figure out that we’re up to something. Even if she were in another room…she would be walking into our room at the moment. She will become uncomfortable and walk away..and leaving us feeling so silly…especially me..I could die of embarrassment. I feel like burying my face into something like an Ostrich.

Luckily, we’ve never had the situation like in Modern Family where the children … out to wish/impress their parents…open their door, one morning with a tray of Breakfast in their hands, only to find the parents naked, in a really awkward position. The son’s (Luke!) words still ringing in my ears..

“Whatever mom and dad were doing…it looked like Dad was winning hands down!”

Today, we celebrated our 18 year of Valentine together and my daughter did the honors of clicking our candid moments together.  Actually she insisted that she wanted to click some candid moments of her parents together.

Just a few instructions on compositions and she could already feel the joy of capturing beautiful moments..She remarked..

“I want to become a photographer!”

She has always been like this. When she was a toddler … she had remarked, that she had wanted to be a married woman. 

A Video that I made of our pictures clicked by my children…even my MOM!