Friday, September 14, 2018

Role reversal

We’ve always had a bit of trouble trying to send Pickles to school. It was a battle every morning, when he first started. But once he got used to it, things got easier until something happened at school that he didn’t like and we’d be back to the dont-wanna-go-to-school phase. R and I would resort to talking, telling stories  and finally after a lot of discussion, tears, consoling and cajoling, he’d go. He would always come back with a smile saying he’d had a great day, and all the morning drama would be forgotten. Rinse and repeat. It's a lot better now and he loves school. Of course it is still hard to get him out of bed on some days. So this morning, just as he was waking up....

Pickles: I want to sleep more.

Me: yeah, me too. Lets just pretend it’s a Saturday and sleep, ok?

Pickles: Oh! Sorry amma but I HAVE to go to school today. It’s very important.

Me: Huh?!

Pickles: Yeah, in school we’re gonna..(going on to tell me what the plan for the day was).

Me: Oh no, then what shall I do?

Pickles: I have to go to school but you should stay at home. Don’t worry, I’ll be back soon.

Me (Making a sad face): Nooo

Pickles then randomly changed the topic and went on to tell me a long story.
And after the story he gently asks me,

“Amma, do you feel better now? Do you think you can go to office today? Its not so bad at all”.

Sometimes, he just blows my mind! <3 o:p="">

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

After a long hiatus

It has been a while since I last posted or even visited this space. I landed here while I was looking for something . As I was reading my earlier posts, it made me feel happy, sad and nostalgic and I  was very glad that I had all this, written up somewhere.  All of a sudden, I was asking myself why my last post was in 2016. It has been a good two years and I haven’t really recorded anything that happened in the interim. I had promised myself that I would chronicle as much of my journey with Pickles and life in general but I let myself down. It’ll suffice to say, life got in the way. That said, when the time is right, motivation comes calling and I think it’s about time I made a comeback to storing memories here.

A lot has happened in the last two years:

-       Pickles started school. Although he started school much earlier at a small establishment near home where he would spend 2 hours every day confined to a tiny room with 5 other children and 2 teachers, did he like it there? I’ll just say he would be the first one out,!
-       We have now found a school we both love, it has almost been 2 years now. A home outside home (a part of my village), which is grooming him with just the things I would have. We love the teachers and the fact that the school is just right on the other side of the street is an added bonus. We love the uninhibited play, outdoors and the music.
-       We also introduced screen-time for Pickles. It is worthy of a post in itself. For now it’ll suffice to say he really looks forward to Friday evenings.
-       As for me, I accepted more responsibilites at work. Of course it came with perks. I have my own office which is such a nice thing (it has its good and bad) and I also do realise that you lose friends along the way. And now your colleagues are just that.
-       Thanks to the new position, I’ve had opportunities to travel solo. I’ve been to Germany, Sweden, London and the USA, in a span of 2 years. I have given talks and generally tried to make my mark in the field. In the process, I am beginning to understand myself more and I am trying to forge a better relationship with myself.
-       I have been reading, a lot, when compared to the little 5-10 minutes of reading before I passed out at bed time. I have finished 17 books out of my goal of 25 for this year.
-       R and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. We finally took a much needed vacation, just the three of us. It was one of the best trips we have made in a long time.
-       R and I are growing up, differently but also similar in many ways. We are making consious choices about what we want in life and thinking about it more than we ever have, hitherto.
-        We have been more concerned about our health. It doesn’t help that parents have had illnesses and made us more painfully aware of mortality, both their’s and our own.
-       And best of all, I’m in a good place right now. I love my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So, there. I’m back in this space. Hopefully, I will stay for a while.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Inherited passion

Yesterday, Pickles and I went into a bookstore. I love spending time at bookstores. I could spend hours browsing and picking (and spending a fortune) and just being around books. It is however a pastime of the past now with Pickles and a full-time job. But yesterday, I had to pick up a couple of gifts for some upcoming birthday parties. And I generally like to buy books for kids rather than toys and I had to do it rather urgently. When Pickles and I set out from home, I'd thought it would be a quick entry and exit from the store.

So, Pickles is fond of books. We've been doing a lot of reading for him ever since he was born. He really shares my enthusiasm for them, of course he can't read just yet. And the library is one of his happy places. It's very hard to curb his enthusiasm on our weekly visits to the library. It's one of those things that he really looks forward to. I must mention at this point that I think the National Library is one of the best things about Singapore. And it is great that Pickles started out on his "reading" ventures here. He loves to run around and browse and pick books to read. Although most library staff are amused to see this little excited toddler happily browsing, some of them ask us to keep it down.  And although I didn't have to worry about keeping the silence, I still was nervous about the visit. And so, I set my very jittery feet into the bookstore with an excited toddler by my side. As we went in, I explained to him that this was a bookstore and not a library and he could not just pick up books to take home. I also told him that we were there to buy a present for his friend and he nodded like he understood and in a very adult tone said "OK".

And when we walked out, I was wondering why I worried at all. We stayed in the store for a good one and a half hour! And he was just as adult-like as I was. We walked into the different sections together and as I would look, he would browse too and would suggest "this one". I would then tell him why that particular book was not ok, and we would move on. He kept chattering on all the while about the different things in the books that he found interesting. And I managed to even browse for something for myself after I had picked up what I needed. The whole experience was such a joyful one, I almost had happy tears when I saw him sitting happily on the floor of the store, browsing for a while and putting the books back in place. I could see that he was as happy as I, when we were there. I had always hoped that he would enjoy books as much as I do but I hadn't expected that it would be this early.

I for one am very happy that he shares my love of books. I can't wait for the day when we can read our favourite books together and talk about them. Going by how fast things are moving, that day doesn't seem far at all.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Relationships are complicated. The ones with family, with friends, with the spouse and everyone else. I've always thought of myself as a perceptive and sensitive person. I've never hurt anybody's feelings intentionally. And if something could be resolved without a fight, I would take that way. Which is why I've always hated confrontations. I've always made it my business to make sure nobody got hurt, even if I've suffered in the process.

But now, I think I'm changing. I find myself being less tolerant to things and people that give me stress. Maybe it is because I'm growing older or maybe because I have enough baggage of my own without adding extra from other people. So, I try and avoid people who are cryptic and can't be straight about how they feel. If you want to continually keep me guessing about what went wrong, I will definitely try but after some effort, I just might give up. I neither have the time nor the inclination to keep prodding at something that is not giving me anything but grief. It's probably best for me to let go.

I think it's about time I'm kinder to myself. I have come to realize that I ought to think about myself first. No one else will.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Letting go

Milestones. They are those weird events that you wait for and yet when they actually happen, leave you with an ache in your heart. They sneak up on you when you least expect them to and before you know it, you are wishing to go back to old times. It is probably the fact that so many events seem to be happening so quickly in succession, but it suddenly seems so drastic to me.

It all started with the weaning. It was a huge milestone for me that passed with not as much difficulty as I had expected, considering that Pickles could be reasoned with, at most times.

And then recently, we converted his crib into a toddler bed, so he could slip in and out with ease without us having to worry that he will jump out of it. Pickles was of course very excited with this development and loved his new bed. It is indeed another matter that he hasn't really slept in it for longer than a couple of hours each night.

And the biggest change is his haircut! We shaved his head as per the traditional ceremony (more on that in another post) and his really cute curls are gone. And suddenly my little baby has turned into this cute little boy with big earnest eyes. I can hardly recognise him until he shyly gives me his special dimpled smile and hugs me with his eyes closed.

And I silently mourn this rite of passage that Pickles has made, from a cute baby to a naughty toddler. Just only until he puts his arms around my neck and says "I douve you, amma." Maybe toddlerhood isn't that bad after all.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


There are people and then there are some other people.

The kind who can turn a really bad situation around with just a few words.

The kind who’ll always tell you to look at the bright side no matter what. And who practice what they preach. You’ll never catch them in a bad mood and if you ever do, something’s gone terribly wrong!

The kind who you look forward to speaking to, and use any excuse to do it.

The kind who’ll make you feel good about yourself, every single time.

The kind who make you believe that the world is indeed a beautiful place, albeit because of them.

And I’m so glad to have a few such people in my life!

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I'm not a people person. I am generally friendly and at most times, there is a higher chance that you would find me with a group of people than by myself. But I like being around people that I know and I''m uncomfortable and almost awkward around strangers. And hence every time I get invited to events and parties where I don't really know a lot of people, I turn it down. Even when the person inviting me is a good friend. I don't like to be lost in a sea of people, starting from scratch and trying to make new friends. That seems like a lot of effort to me and not always worth it. There have been times when I soon figure out that I might actually enjoy it but it's probably too late to get out of the excuse that I just made to avoid going.

Recently, R and I have made this arrangement where we each take an evening of "me-time', during the week. So, every Wednesday evening, I focus on doing things that I enjoy; a drink with friends, shopping, watching a movie or whatever catches my fancy for the day. But after a few weeks, I was at a loss of things to do during 'me-time'. I had run out of most things and I went back home a couple of weeks too (!) And soon, it looked like I would soon lose my 'Me-Wednesday' evenings if I didn't push to make it last. And luckily, I got invited to have a drink with some friends after work and I happily agreed to go. Until, someone mentioned that there will be others (people I didn't know) going too. Suddenly, I was uncomfortable with the idea and started looking for excuses. But since it was too late to do anything, I just bit the bullet and went ahead anyway.

And I had fun. There was some interesting conversations with some good people. I won't say I made new friends but I might smile or nod at them if I see them again. But, it turned out that they were a bunch of foodies who loved Indian food. What came out of that conversation were plans for some experiments with Fusion-food for the following weekend. Although, it has been done before, my friends who were there that night and I decided to try to make some 'Naan-Pizza'. From scratch, no less!

Butter chicken- naan pizza.

Palak paneer-naan pizza
Pardon the bad pictures but this was the best I could do before they disappeared. They were   really great.

The whole experience was a riot, though. I had so much fun, making and of course eating the stuff later that I decided I must do newer things more often. We will definitely try more fusion food in the weeks to come and now bouncing ideas for the next one is a regular thing during our lunch sessions. Although, that Wednesday was just a starter for the whole thing, it was still fun! And I for one, will think twice before turning down invitations again.