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I haven’t moved much. It is not because I get too attached to a place, but it is just that I dread moving.

Moving is a very emotionally intriguing concept to me.

What makes that restless person move voluntarily? Is it the variety? Sense of adventure? Possibilities? Confidence?

What does a person forced to move feel like? Betrayed? Cheated? Sad? Depressed? Opportunities? Determination? Fighting spirit? Sense of moving on? Means to an end?

What makes animals move? What is their intrinsic motivation to do it? Is it hard coded in their gene?

See, it is all about feelings and behind the scenes information to me when it comes to moving.

If you are like me, even if it not like me, this year’s CROCUS brings you a literary treat in terms of ‘MIGRATION’. We have different books that talk about what defines a home, adventurers, explorers, animal migration, refugees, etc. Mark you calendars and join us on Oct 23rd.

Before the books come marching, there are two great posts by fellow ST-ians which are must read. Sandhya, (the lady can write and she) had me at the title, “Not all those who wander are lost…“. Satish serves an awesome slice of life in his post “Migration, Happiness and Other Anecdotes“.

Leaving you with the brilliant poster designed by our resident artist Lavanya…..



  • Filed under: CROCUS 2013
  • Division Of Love

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    The little one pulls me to her bedroom and closes the door, asks me to bend down and whispers in my ears, ‘I want you to spend your day, from 9.30AM- 3.30PM with me. In this time you must do what I say. You can’t look at any one, can’t talk to any one. You must make eye contact with only me.’ I ask her what is the deal with the ending time and she replies, ‘After that I have to go to the park and play with my best friend-no? So you can be done by 3.30 amma.’ I ask her why she chose to pull me aside and tell me this in my ear and she says, ‘I don’t want Chula to hear. Otherwise she will come and demand to be included. This is me and you time.’

    It was clear that she wants a chunk of MY time, but does not want to give me HER time. After all I am just a mother and what chances do I stand against her best friend?! But I was bothered by the fact that she wanted to keep the deal a secret from her sister. So I insisted on transparency. With great reluctance, she thundered her way to her sister, called her sister, then poked her, then finally pulled her hair. Chula who was reading a book was oblivious of all the calls, pulls and pokes, finally snapped to attention when the book was snatched from her hand and barked an angry , ‘WHAT?’. When the little one explained the deal, Chula cut her short by saying that, ‘Its okay. Whatever. Do what you want with amma. Just give me my book. I don’t care. BOOK. NOW.’ Then a very interesting conversation, that left me dumbfounded, started.

    Meija: Don’t care? You don’t care? Hah! It is easy for you to say don’t care. You had 2 whole years with amma before I was born. So I care.

    Chula: 18 months to be precise. But the quality of love she gives you is way more than what she gives me. So even if you got love for lesser time, the amount you get is waaaaaay more than what I will ever get. (note the usage of precise and placement of ‘will ever’)

    Meija: That is not true.

    Chula: Yes it is. Every one knows mothers love their second borns and fathers their first borns. So just give me that book and go away.

    They are 8 and 7 yrs respectively. I am an only child. This constant bickering, division of love and firm belief that I favor one child over the other baffles me. So people with siblings enlighten me:

    -Does the bickering ever stop?

    -When do they start caring for each other? Or is this care and it is so heavily disguised that I am not able to identify it?

    -Should I give up hope?

    -Should I stop grinding my teeth, holding them by the nape of their neck, forcing their faces inches apart and growl, ‘I need to see some love. N.O.W.’

    -Do they love me so much that they fight over me, if so how do I handle this naansense?

    -Or they just don’t want the other to not have me?


    Culture Kotudhu 6

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    MiM, this is specially for you. Return favor for Chennai Conundrum…..

    Scene1: I am reading Bulbul Sharma’s Ramayana to the younger one. Chula is sitting next to me and asks,

    “Amma, why is that in mythology, the women always give birth to boys? None of them seem to give birth to girls?”

    For this the husband, (MiM, this is your cue for lol, rofl, roflmao) answered, ‘What do you mean, we have Sita…’

    Pat came the reply, “Appa, she does not have a father. She was FOUND by Janaka.”

    But our man does not let go easily, so he continues, “……Draupadi…”

    Countered by Chula with, “Appa… she came from the fire. Kings do yagnas drink things, make the queens drink things and have boys. The girls come out of fire or earth, etc…”

    Again the man goes on undaunted, “But the Kauravas came out of pots…”

    “Because Gandhari could not wait. She took them from her stomach and put them in to pots. The girls do not come out of the womb. Even in old testament the women are giving birth to boys. Eve gives birth to Cain, Able and Seth. They in turn give birth to boys.”

    Before the conversation turned to how Cain and Seth were able to give birth to boys when the only woman around was Eve, I had to cut this thread and I did it successfully.

    Scene2: Meija is on my lap. We are cuddling on the couch and I tell her, ‘You are the biggest gift that I could have ever received’, for which she replies, “No amma, the biggest gift a woman can ever get is diamonds. That too from her husband. They told in woman’s day in all the advertisements.” The advertisement industry can now retire in peace, looks like they have done a pretty awesome job of putting ideas in to the young generation.





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    R Is For Retirement

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    Goonj is still accepting donations for Uttarakhand.

    We came back from the park yesterday evening and the girls decided that they will make dinner for the family. I was asked to get bread, cream cheese and green capsicum, which I did. There was a melt down on the way home and I was wondering how the rest of the evening is going to go.

    But they shut me out of the kitchen, yes, I was sent out and the door was promptly locked behind me. I lounged with a book in hand. 30 min later we were treated to cream cheese and shredded carrot sandwiches, lemonade and mushroom sandwich for R.

    A very proud moment for all of us. I promptly clicked very many pictures. At the end of the meal, me being, will, me, I tired sneaking in a life lesson and I started, ‘See how hard you worked and I ate it with a smile on my face. Not just because it was tasty, but because I respect the food and your time. How would you feel if I had complained about the food and if I threw a tantrum?’ *Me looking all smug* Pat came the reply, ‘Actually the cooking did not take much time amma. It took us some time to put all our love in to it though!’

    Fine… my nose went missing, but still a proud and retired mom!!!

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    Help Uttarakhand

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    Goonj is collecting materials for relief work in Uttarakhand. (Hyd folks, the Hyderabad drop center is very close to Gachibowli Circle. )

    They need

    Tarpaulins, mosquito nets, Dry ration ( primarily-rice, pulses, biscuits ) blankets and woolens, cooking utensils, buckets, torch and batteries, umbrellas, basic medicines, water purifier tablets, crutches, candles,lanterns, feeding bottles, rope. Also- Old flex banners, mats, sponsorship for sanitary pads & Sujnis.

    This is how you can help:

    (1) Call a drop center in your state/city and organize a drop of any of the above mentioned items.

    (2) Do a drive in your apartment complex/office and organize a drop

    (3) If you are in Hyderabad(Banjara Hillas/Jubilee Hills) and cannot make it to Gachibowli, but would like to buy some supplies, get in touch with me at I live in Gachibowli and do multiple drops over the next couple of weeks.

    (4) For monetary donations, look for information on Goonj website.


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  • Filed under: General
  • Do You Have Common Sense?

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    I am not asking you my genteel reader.
    But this is a game the children play, quite so often. It goes:
    Child: Amma, lets play a game. Okay? Do you have common sense?
    Child: What is your favorite color?
    Me: Blue.
    Child: What is your favorite animal?
    Me: Monkey.
    Child: Tell me a number.
    Me: 7
    Child: Ha-ha! You don’t have common sense. A monkey is not blue and does not have 7 legs. No common sense. No common sense.

    There is no secret message or life lesson, but I would like to pick people I encounter on daily basis and ask them this question, ‘Dude do you have common sense?’ along with more questions like, ‘Do you have sense?’, ‘Do you have grace and courtesy?’, ‘Do you have any ethics?’, ‘Can you spell etiquette?’, ‘Do you have a brain?’ and more importantly, ‘Do you have a heart?’
    If only I could! Sigh!

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  • The Summer Vacation Bug

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    We are completing one successful week of summer vacation.

    I am still alive.

    So are the children.

    Our day is like this:

    They go to a neighbor’s house for 2 hrs. A paid summer camp kind of thing. They do quilling, paper craft, basic sewing and knitting.

    So between lunch and 3.00PM……

    <I am at work>: 25 phone calls in 90 min, ‘Amma, when are you coming?’ is running in loop.

    <I come back home>: ‘Yay! Amma!’

    Amma can we eat chocolate?


    Can we eat chocolate biscuit?


    Can we eat regular biscuit?


    Can we go out and eat dinner?


    Can you make special dinner?


    Can we call out friends over?

    If you finish your snack, we can go and play in the park/pool with all your friends. Lets clean up before that.

    No(note role reversal)

    Finish your lassi.


    Finish your fruit.


    Get you hair combed.


    After a serious glaring from me, child #2 asks me, ‘Amma, even if we make you mad, why can’t you keep smiling?’

    The answer to this complicated question can be unlocked only when she has children, me thinks.

    But all this aside, its the vocabulary that drives me nuts… *rolling eyes*

    “Amma I finished the book full-to-full” =>completed reading.

    “Amma, in teacher’s class I did stitching full-to-full” => the whole time

    “Amma I ate full-to-full and I am full ” =>  finished what was put on their plate.

    Note how ‘appa’ is no where in the picture, thank you very much.

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    Three day passes available on BookMyShow.

    I will be there for Shobhana’s dance, with my binoculars. Full opera style wonly!!

    As an experimental case, we bought tickets for Chula too. Fingers and toes crossed she enjoys it.


  • Filed under: Hyderabad
  • My Family

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    Was the topic Chula was asked to write an essay on by her teacher.

    So the child writes…. ‘I love my family even if I get bad thoughts about them and also because they love me and we help each other.’

    When I asked her what bad thoughts she gets about her family, she replied that she can’t explain, sometimes she just feels bad.

    She also wrote, ‘My father’s name is _____. He works at _____. I like it when he plays badminton with me. I also like it when he plays monopoly with me. My mother’s name is _____. She works for _______.’

    That is it!

    No mentions of what she likes doing with me.

    My feathers were ruffled and I asked her to explain this serious over sight and she patiently said, ‘Ammmaa, you do a ton of great things with me. If I list all the fun things, this will not be a short essay and I don’t know what to pick because they are all great.’

    The child can save her behind through diplomacy.

    She initially mentioned that she can’t think of one single good thing to write about her sister. Eventually decided that she will write how naughty her sister is.

    Meija was upset with this character defamation and said that when she comes to second grade and when she is asked to write about her family, she will write verrry bad things about Chula and will supplement it with an ugly drawing of her. That did the trick.

    The child can save her behind through black mail.

    I have raised two good citizens. My job is done.

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    The London Eurythmy – Review

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    They did three pieces.

    The Little Prince – I was excited. But considering that they invited 1st and 2nd graders, I am surprised if Little Prince was the right choice. The gentleman who performed was awesome, with the right modulation, body language and expression. Audience 10+ were mesmerized.

    Three Oranges – a eurythmic representation of a fairy tale. Much enjoyed by children and their parents.

    Potpourri of piano compositions and nursery rhymes – I personally find Eurthmy a little, ‘far out there’, so it would have been great of they had picked more popular nursery rhymes. Little Miss Muffet, really salvaged their reputation with the little ones. The children were rolling on the floor laughing. May be Humpty Dumpty, Cow jumped over the moon could have been better pieces from the familiarity point of view as well the laughter the rhymes would have produced. As I was wondering if people would get the nonsense rhymes by Edward Lear, Chula surprised me by reciting ‘The Owl And The Pussy Cat’ along with the narration! That was #facepalm for me.

    The art part, movement therapy etc in Eurythmy aside, one drives all the way from Gachibowli to Nampally to see the children enjoy the performance, right?!

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  • Filed under: Hyderabad
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