Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Culture Kotudhu 2

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The fruits of my womb are playing with a neighbor’s child. They are doing some drawing. I am in the kitchen. The idea is one of the three critiques the work of the other two and gives points. If you accumulate more points then you can use it….. I don’t know, somewhere. It is quite complicated, you see!

Chula: Pick me as the judge.

The other two: NO!

Chula:  Who ever picks me as the judge will get 1000 points. If you don’t  I will give less.

Neighbor’s child: Ok, you judge.

Meija: NO. You think we will get 1000 points only if you judge? I will judge my own drawing and give it 2000 points. We don’t need you.

Me: Dumbstruck.




Save Our Girl Children

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Our society believes that girl children are a liability. They have always been targeted. New born girl children have been killed and abandoned for decades. Ultrasound technology has only made this worse. Girls children are being aborted as early as 20 weeks, while still in the mother’s womb. Which is less humane, no body can tell.

Many of us feel strongly for this and due to many reasons, we have been arm chair activists. Now is a chance to be an arm chair activist AND make a difference.

Arti Home For Girls is an orphanage for abandoned girls children based out of Kadappa, Andhra Pradesh. Its founder Sandhya, has been working with abandoned girls children and women forced to abort their unborn girl children for the past 20 years. She has contributed in many levels and has made a difference in the lives of more than 1000 girl children.

Arti Home is participating in the IMPACT CONTEST. Winning this contest will give many unborn children a chance of survival, women a possibility to stand up for their girl children, educational and vocational training for the abandoned girls.

Please vote and chow your support.

What to do:

– Click on the link

– Right top corner will have a link to log in to FB.Give appropriate permissions for FB, if asked.


Thanks a bunch, you have made a difference in a child’s life.

  • Filed under: General
  • Candid Conversations With Meija

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    Hermit crab
    I was telling her how hermit crabs do not have a shell of their own, but pick an empty shell to live in.
    Meija: Where does the hermit crab come from?
    Me: From an egg.
    Meija: Where does the egg come from?
    Me: From another hermit crab.
    Meija: Amma, (with hand action) I understand that this hermit crab came from that egg, that egg came from thaaatt hermit crab and so on. But that very first hermit crab in the world, where did that come from? Which was first the crab or the egg?
    Me: Theriyaleye-ma.

    Meta Physics
    Morning rush. The situation was getting explosive between Chula and I. She is sitting in front of her breakfast plate and I have given her the 20th ultimatum, but nothing is working.
    Me: Chula, if I were you, I would take this more seriously and at least ask for help. I don’t know what you are planning to do.
    Meija: Amma, if you were her, you would do the same thing that she is doing. She is doing this because these are the things Chula does. That is what makes her, her. So if you are her, you will do her things and not your things.
    Me: ::Fainting::

    Mommy school
    I am giving the child a bath.
    Meija: Amma, you are putting soap so softly.
    Me: Yes.
    Meija: Yesterday when you put tiger balm for my back and chest, you put it so fast-fast-ly.
    Me: Yes.
    Meija: How do you know that soap has to be put softly and slowly and tiger balm fast fast?
    Me: (Mockingly) Um, they teach all this in mommy school.
    Meija: Mommy school? Can I go?
    Me: Nope. One must have finished college, then go to another college, get a job, get married and only then they take you in to mommy school.
    Meija: Do they teach you to make jokes like you do in mommy school?
    Me: Yes.
    Meija: Do they teach how to laugh like you do in mommy school?
    Me: Yes.
    Meija: Do they teach how to give hugs and love like you do in mommy school?
    Me: Yes.
    Meija: Hmmm, looks like you knew nothing before you went to mommy school.

    Me: ??!!

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    Can You Quantify Friendship?

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    Yes. Great friendship = a bag of avacados.

    Especially if

    -bought all the way from San Jose

    -to Chennai

    -and carried to Hyderabad

    -picking the rawest fruit, so that they ripen in the one week time it takes to reach Hyderabad

    -all because I said that the one material thing I miss from San Jose are avocados and that I am craving for avocados.

    Yaadayaada and her husband were in India for her cousin’s wedding, made time to visit me in Hyd (in her 18 day trip), with a bag of avocados. It was a total ‘Nanban-da!’ moment in classic Rajnikanth style.

    We chatted, shopped, chilled, caught up, played, wined and dined. The kids were in cloud nine.

    PS: Had them raw, as guacamole, in quesadilla, and finally paratha. Extra flavor due to love.

  • Filed under: General
  • Of Apologies And Excuses

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    Sigh! Just realized that I announced the results of the book quiz on March 12, 2012, while the instructions clearly say March 19th. My sincere apologies if it had prevented people from participating. If it is of any consolation, family is not letting me book train tickets for them any more, because I am trying to make reservations a week earlier or a week later than the one they prefer! So you can join the club.

    “You clearly said ‘Edited on March 12th’, then why the confusion?”, some might ask. I have been living a week ahead and a week behind all at the same time, for quite some time now. The past four months have been spent in making to-do lists for the current week, planning the week ahead and following up with the tasks I finished the previous week. Like I told a friend, there is pure chaos in my head. Multiple ideas are churning like no one’s business, hopefully it crystallizes in to something wonderful soon.

    To ideas and to successfully taking them forward *clink*clink*

  • Filed under: Guess the book
  • Guess The Book

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    March 12, wed. Edited to add.

    The winner is Boo and I know exactly what to get you. Just thank me later :)

    Growing up, listening to stories of Ramayana and Mahabaratha, my scales have always tilted towards Mahabaratha. I thought the later had much more realistic action. Realistic because the story had real human emotions. Plus it had Krishna, the ever charming persona who is okay with playing as well as praying.

    Versus Ramayana had …..Rama. Rama whose face, according to the tamil poet Kambar was like a freshly blossomed lotus, even when Dasratha packed him off to the forest with nothing but clothes on his back. Can’t stand Mr.Goody two shoes. And even more irritating are the delicate darling heroines who mutely follow husbands in to the forest and sit and wait for 14 months to be rescued.

    I had very many questions in my mind.

    -What prompted Dasaratha to say yes to the unreasonable boons that Kaikeyi demanded?

    -What is Mathara’s motive behind instigating Kaikeyi against her family. What happened to her later?

    -Were the three queens(Kowsalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra) okay with sharing everything including a husband? Or was there friction between them?

    -Did Kowsalya slap Kaikeyi silly after she knew what Kaikeyi did to her son?

    -How can Dasaratha give off Rama to Vishwamitra without consulting the mother of the boy?

    -Ravana also attended Sita’s swayamwaram. Did he face Rama? How did that go down?

    -How can Gothama do what he did to his wife and still can live with himself. *serious eye rolling about fidelity imposed only on women*

    -Living in a secluded spot, what was the dynamics of relationship between Lakshmana and Sita?

    -Surpanakha, what prompted her to fall in love with Rama?

    -How can a person stand behind a tree and kill another person and still be called a Kshatriya warrior? Can one really live with themselves after such a behavior?

    -What made Ravana wait for almost 13 years before he tried kidnapping Sita?

    -What is the dynamics of the Hanuman-Rama relationship.

    -Last but not the least….. one would send the missus back to the forest?! Just like that?! Seriously?! Any decent man must have given up the crown and followed the missus in to the forest telling, “as a king I must to set an example to my citizens, but as a husband, I owe a duty to my wife”.

    But looks like Banker had the same questions and his version of Ramayana has real people with emotions instead of pompous, self righteous creatures. His retelling has answers to most of my questions. I love his interpretation of Tatakavanam, his battle between humans and rakshas. His Sita….oh my, my, my…. she is a warrior princess, who fights shoulder to shoulder with Rama and Lakshmana. She even slaps Rama couple of times and the dude is okay with it. This me likes.

    Tolkien(LOTR) must have been influenced by Ramayana at some level and Banker’s version seems to contain shades of Tolkien’s narration.

    – the initial war between Ravana and Dasaratha + Kaikeyi + rest of the Kshatriya kings = initial war between Sauron and Elrond + Isildur.

    – Rama giving up the throne = Aragorn giving up the crown.

    -Sita following Rama = Arwen deciding to go with Aragorn.

    -Lakshmana = Samwise, for his unwavering sense of duty to his brother/master.

    -Rakshas = Orcs (that is a easy one!)

    -Seers Vishwamitra and Vashishta = Gandalf

    -Ravana keeping an ‘eye’ on the Kshatriya cities, more than reminded me of Sauron’s eye.

    This is just a few. I am not going to spoon feed you with all the details, something are best when self discovered.

    If I am to complain, his style story telling is giving detailed account through every character! Pick a few characters and the story in detail through these characters is okay, but he goes in to details through the eyes of many people! I can’t stand Ghuha, very boorish and I certainly do not want to read about Dasaratha romping around with his wives *eye rolling right here*.

    I have finished three volumes, can’t wait for Hanuman to make his entry.




    – Guess the complete TITLE and AUTHOR.

    – Quiz closes Friday, March 16th. 4.00PM IST.

    – Results will be announced Monday, March 19th.

    – Winner is picked by a random number generation of the right answers.

    – The prize is a book. I want to choose a book appropriate for you/your child. So will announce the title of the book after I announce the winner.

    -Comment moderation is on.

    -Play nicely children. Sorry about the so-so image, just feeling a little drained.


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  • Filed under: Guess the book
  • Tip Of The Hat, Wag Of The Finger

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    Tip of the hat to Arvind Gupta. I can’t tell you why right now. But a great man!

    Wag of the finger to the Intercity Packers and Movers. Accepted to move our car from Hyderabad to Chennai. After unloading it from the truck and before delivering the car to the Chennai destination, got in to an accident (drunk driving). Hit a scooty, luckily the boy riding the scooty fell on impact and rolled off (HELMETS DO SAVE LIVES people). Dragged the scooty for a distance of 5 – 6 km, got the vehicle seized by the police, bribed the police and tried getting out of all ethical, moral and legal obligations to settle the dispute. Big mafia, these people are! Stay away.

    Its been a year since I did my GUESS THE BOOK book quiz. Its not that I haven’t been reading any good books off late, but to find the right book, that is a challenge to decode at the same time encourage people to play is the challenge. So I have a book, how do you want the clues, picture or verbal? Will post on March 7th.



    S Is For Saangs

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    Sheela-ki-javaani is out and over.

    Chamak Challo is taking our house by storm. Yes, we are late and we are like that only. No TV and no computer, we are usually stuck in a different time warp. The children hear about songs from their friends. By the time they register a song, memorize it and start asking for it, the rest of the world would have ridden that wave and would have moved on. But we peak!

    Now I can measure every place I drive them to, by Chamak Challo scale. Airport, one way, almost 6 Chamak Challo’s. Grocery store – 3. The auditorium where the children had their annual day function – 3. Copying place close by – 1 etc.

    Enthused(and irritated) by the number of times the husband heard the song, the eager beaver he is and with his ever wanting need to get to the bottom of things and understand the meaning, he, of all people, asked the maid the meaning of Chamak Challo. The maid started blushing. I, who was dusting close by, froze. And gave him the look that means, ‘this maid is a keeper, don’t ask her meaning to Hindi movie songs, which usually contains lots of read between the lines material and make her stop coming to work’. The husband, as usual, blissfully unaware of all looks and meanings and implications, moved on with his simple existence.

    Another song that the children are singing non-stop is Kolaveri and holds the record for entering the house while it is still in vogue. They dance for Chamak Challo, Mieja has two moves – a standard march past kind of move for male voice and a hip shake with hands crossing for the female voice. But their response to Kolaveri gives me the creeps. They lounge, please note, not sitting but lounging, on the couch and sing dreamily, ‘Hand-le glass-u, glass-le sctotch-u’. Suddenly they tell me ominously, ‘Amma your future is dark-u dark-u’. For which I reply is full childish demeanor, ‘Noooo, my future is not dark. It is bright. I am going places!’

    Last but not the least ‘Dhinka Chika’. I don’t even know when it came, so can;t say if we entered this wave soon/late/at peak. But I can tell you that I have heard it so many times that it has filled my head, over flowing from my brain and finding its way out through my vocabulary. Yesterday I told the younger child, ‘Yes, I will tell no if it is not appropriate. Don’t expect me to do Dinhka Chika to all your whims and fancies.’ She missed the point and wanted me to play Dhinka Chika.

    Ta folks, have a good weekend!





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    Drumberries Event On Jan29,2012

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    Drumberries is holding an interactive drum session at Sweet Nirvana, Kavuri Hills between 4.00PM – 7.00PM.

    Session fee Rs.100.

    For details check out Drumberries Facebook page.

    Also want to do the CUPCAKE at Deli9, Road No1,Banjara Hills, starts Jan25.

    For those interested, there is a Heritage Walk from Charminar to Chowmahalla Palace, Jan 29, 7.30AM to 9.00AM. Entry fee Rs.50. Tickets available at Charminar. Call 9849728841.

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  • Filed under: General, Hyderabad
  • Strike It Rich

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    Mieja lurves diamonds. Now, according to her, diamond is anything that is smooth, shiny and the size of a lemon. At this point of time I would like to clarify that I am not feeding her with unrealistic expectations. Many a pebbles were picked up from the park, washed, spat on and shined till hands ached and disappointment levels soared. But the child being the tireless kind, decided to change the process. As a result of which multiple diamond experiments were carried on at home.

    I nodded approvingly and decided to keep a photographic record of the experiments, because (a)once her heart is set, no matter I reason, she will refuse to listen and (b)if at all by blind luck she did manage to make a diamond?! I mean, the child was talking about rocks the size of lemons. It surely wouldn’t hurt to have a few, wouldn’t it?!

    So here it goes, the process, pictures and the product.

    Experiment 1

    Ingredients: Leaves from your garden, a bucket, water, scissors, plenty of sunlight.

    Process: Watch out for the time sunlight falls on your kitchen faucet. Now open the faucet and check if the water sparkles in sunlight. Only sparkling water results in sparkling diamonds. Now fill half your bucket with sparkling water. Cut the leaves in to strips about an inch thick. Fashion these leaves in to little cups. Pour about half a teaspoon of sparkling water in to each leaf cup. Place the leaf cups in to the bucket. Leave the bucket in direct sunlight for a week. Check for readiness and leave them for an additional week if required.



    Experiment 2

    was formulated after said child’s mother complained to every one under the Sun about the stink emanating from the bucket and scientists needing to clean up their own mess(“Marie Curie’s mother did not run behind her with a mop and scrubber” my exact words). The goal of this experiment was to (a)keep the initial experiment to small scale and if successful scale up as required (b)compress the process to a couple of days, so that said diamonds are ready before the leaves start decaying (c)avoid contamination from air borne pollutants.

    Ingredients: One tbsp of chopped onions, leaves from your garden, one tbsp sparkling water, fridge in working condition.

    Process: Clean a big broad leaf. Mix chopped onions with sparkling water. Fashion the mixture in to a diamond shape. Place the mixture on the leaf and place the whole thing in the fridge. You can place it in the freezer, will cut down the process time in to 1/3, the trade off being the three footer’s dependency on her parents(read mother) to check the diamond formation every millisecond.

    Product: This time the mother raised hell that the fridge stinks of onions and the child gave up after a week.

    Experiment 3

    Ingredients: Grape seeds, white acrylic paint.

    Process: First eat the grapes, one needs the strength from the grapes to convince one’s mother about yet another diamond experiment, then collect the seeds. Wash the seeds in sparkling water. Pat dry. Paint every seed with white acrylic paint. Place in cup. Place the cup in fridge.



    Amma had nothing to complain about. No decay, no stink. This experiment stayed for the longest in the fridge and was discarded after the unsuspecting spouse, looking for a late night snack, consumed about half of it.

    Experiement 4

    Ingredients: Glass, preferably in a sphere shape. One tbsp sparkling water. Hard surface. Pointy, sharp tools.

    Process: Take the glass sphere and drill a small hole. Pour the tbsp water through this hole. Place right side up and place in the fridge to set. When set, tap the water filled sphere on a hard surface to chip the sides to make a shiny diamond.

    Product: Promptly nipped in the bud by Amma. So no pictures or products to complain about.

    She is taking a break right now and I am shuddering that she will come back invigorated after the break.



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    Guess The Book

    Congrats N.Chokkan, on winning the most recent book quiz. .

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