Thursday, February 1, 2018

What I did not say in the letter

What I did not say in the letter is that life is not so easy as your mom and dad make it appear for you. There will always be problems and things you do not like or want to do. What's important is how you tread your way through those waves and come out.

What I did not say in the letter is that winning or losing is not everything in life; what's more important is the experiences, the lessons, the people you meet on the way, how much fun you had on the way.Winning or losing is just the final outcome and it wont matter if you cannot value the whole process to get to that outcome.

What I did not say in the letter is that always be brave enough to speak up your mind. Always speak up. Do not hesitate for a second thinking what will they think. Because "they" will always think, no matter what. So have your voice and speak up.

What I did not say in the letter is that do not ever let anyone, not even me and your dad, make decisions on your behalf. You have a mind of your own. Make your own decisions. Learn to say No when you want to. When you start delegating your decisions to others, it starts small and pretty soon you end up not having a say in the bigger decisions of your life.

What I did not say in the letter is that almost all types of relationships will come and go in life. What will stay with you forever is the one you'll have with your sibling. Do not ever give up on this relationship. I see so much of myself and my brother in you and Aayush and I'll always make every effort and wish that you two are always there for each other.

There will be many many and many more life lessons from me but for now, this is all I wanted to say that I did not say in that letter.

Love  you

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A letter for you

Dear Kashvi

I am writing this letter to you on the day when you are start student for the week in your class at Corbell. I hope you had a great day so far at school. I know how much you love going to school, meeting your friends and teachers and doing your work. And I hope your zeal to learn and explore always stays with you – Your never-ending questions, your little experiments at home, making little crafts out of anything, those impromptu parties that you plan for everyone, your super excitement on earning houses and hotels when playing Monopoly – I do love all of them.

You know kindergarten is the most important foundation for your learning. The skills, the lessons that you learn today – you will use them in all your upcoming grades. And more importantly – the friendships that you will make now, will stay with you for a long time.

But besides learning the numbers and reading and all that is in the books, what I want for you is to utilize this time to develop the most important things you’ll need in life – To be kind and helpful to everyone; To be confident and being able to speak up for yourself needed and knowing to differentiate between what’s right and what may not be right.

Please know mom, dad and Aayush – we all love you a lot. And I sure do love that tinkling smile of yours, so do keep smiling always.

Lots of love and hugs

PS: Watch out for the next post "What I did not write in the letter.."

Friday, July 22, 2016

Expressing Love

My sweet little Kashu is on a drawing and writing spree and expressing her love and feelings for everyone these days
And mommy, daddy and even Aayush gets equal share of love through these drawings and writings.
And because I want to treasure these little drawings and writings of hers, I took some pictures of them  and am saving them here on the blog.

Her brother Aayush, even till today, expresses himself the best through his drawings and little notes.
On days when he messes up something, he will leave a quiet sorry note under my pillow
I rarely travel for my work; once when I did, he made the cutest "bye and miss you mom" card for me
Even the letter he wrote to Santa the year he became a big brother, was full of things he wanted not for him, but for his little sister...
(Just FYI.. they are at a age now where they fight and argue and then make up like typical siblings. So now Santa's letters are more oriented to X box and bike and iPod and all !)
And all these pictures and the writings that my kids do, reminds me of the time when my brother was a little kid.
He used to make up stories and write little love notes like these
His imaginations always created the funniest stories
He used to leave a little bite of his lunch for me every single day since I was the first one to check his bag and lunch as soon he got back from school.
Or the biology diagrams I used to beg my sister to draw for me, in lieu of doing the Sanskrit translation for her 
Sure, at that time, there were no cell phones or blogs to keep those memories safe
But they are all tucked neatly safe in my memories and heart.

Drawing here showing "Mom I love you"

And also that her hugs are the best !!

Dad also gets his share of "I love you"

Whole family picture with her most favorite thing , the rainbow

And that "My mom is not a cat"

Love this phase of childhood where expressions are so pure and innocent!!
Love you to moon and back my Kashu...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bachpan ke din

The days of childhood are the most to anyone about those days and the eyes shine up with a gleam and a sparkle and I am no exception to that.
I have so,so,so many stories from my childhood days. And I like to keep them intact in my memories by narrating them to my kids now; they are also intrigued by those stories; more so by the fact that even their mom was a kid (like a REAL kid!!!!)

I grew up in a joint family,a full house with Babaji, Maa, Chacha, Chachi, bua and my sisters and brother.
We did not even know the concept of cousins, so everyone was simply sisters and brothers.
And then we had some common toys in the house that we used to share, like the wooden orange,yellow horse like this (Remember???)

One toy and 5 kids to share and yet we were able to come up with a sharing plan between the kids, without any of the grown ups getting involved. We assigned specific rooms and areas of home to each kid. If the toy was found in those areas, that kid had the privilege to ride that toy. And even till date, my mom, chachi and buas tell the stories to their grandkids that with that arrangement, we never had a fight for the toy.

Evenings used to be party at the house. All the kids from the street used to gather at our house and Pakdam-pakdai and chupan-chupai used to be usual games to play. All the auntys and mom used to have their evening tea on the upper gallery, discussing their knitting patterns and dinner plans for the night.

With changing times, the games that we played also changed. But the theme was always the same, to have the most fun while spending the most time with the siblings and friends.
Whether it was the game of creating a towers out pillows and blankets for the little brother and making him sit as a king or playing shopping at home by accumulating different stuff from all over the house.

And then there were instances where mom became the strict on us when one of us did something really wrong or threw a fit on something. One of my favorite memory (not so favorite back then) is of a time when my brother got mad at something and decided to leave the house (yeah at the age of 5 years!) so when he said that, my mom very calmly asked him to pack his stuff and leave if he wanted to. So he looked around the house and packed all his valuables (which included 6 marbles, 4 stickers, 4 toy cars and few other knick-knacks) in his box and dashed towards the door. Me being the sentimental older sister wanted to stop him but mom asked me not to. So in the summer afternoon, he is out of the home, wandered around on the street for a while and then probably  was thirsty. So he went to the nearest park and tried to find some water. When he could not find any, rang the bell on the door and asked for some water. And that's when my mom taught him the most important lesson of life: Leaving what you have is easy but then only you realize how important it was for you.

As I remember all these stories and other anecdotes from my childhood, I cannot stop and wonder how easily we learnt important life lessons through these play activities. With all the focus now on electronic devices, video games and demanding work load at schools, the one to one interaction between the kids and free play is kind of lost on them. I try to include free outside play for my kids, just so that they can learn to interact, communicate, play and even handle their own disputes with other kids in their own ways.

I am sure they will have their own stories to tell their kids when they reach the stage to reminisce their days of childhood. 

This post is being written for the #BachpanWithFlinto blogger contest

Flintobox creates award-winning discovery boxes filled with fun exploratory activities and games for children in the age group of 3-7. If you wish to gift Flintobox to your child, niece/nephew, or friend’s child, use the exclusive coupon code WELCOME to avail Rs. 250/- off.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Missing Silliness

Isn’t it amazing how you find certain things/behaviors silly at times and then all of a sudden when it changes, you miss that?
My 3 yr old, till about 6 months back, used to identify all the colors perfectly fine except for the color yellow.
Show her anything in color yellow and ask “Kashvi, what color is it?”
And her standard answer every single time used to be “laddoo”
Never knew why !!
Not that she’s a big fan of the sweet laddoo, though.
And we used to laugh on this silliness everytime
I, even intentionally used to point to yellow things and asked her to identify the color.
And then used to correct her.

And then all of a sudden, one day, just like that, “laddoo” became “lellow”
Oh nooooo, as soon as she said “lellow”, my instant reply was “no, ladooo”
And this time, she corrected me “No mommy, it is Lellow color. You are funny”
And all I could do, was just nod along.

And it made me realize, in these crazy busy days of our lives, these moments of silliness are what I want to hold on to.
So, say whatever, I am not correcting “lellow” to “yellow” or “ninna” to “sleepy”  Or even “oti-moti” with “roti”

Life is perfect the way it is !!
With a dash of silliness and sprinkles of laughter.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Weaving stories

One of the favorite activities for my son is to listen to stories.
He loves to read by himself, but at the end of the day, he saves time to just lay by my side and listen to a story I tell to him.

I also read myself a lot, so I try to simplify those stories to his level and narrate to him.
Simplifying the details so he can understand at his level.
I even mix up some of the actual happening around me when I create stories for him.

Recently, I tried narrating him the old Indian stories like Ramayana and Mahabharata.
But how can you explain to a modern age boy that a king could have 5 wives in that era.
Or that a mother could order something and the son would give up everything just to follow her orders !!

Or that a monkey could carry the whole mountain on his hand and burn down the whole city with fire on his tail.
He just doesn’t buy those parts of the stories.
When I started telling him the story of Mahabharata, he had 100s of questions and each one of them made 100% sense:
- Why did Gandhari blindfold herself when her husband was blind? She could have been more help if she was also not blindfolded?
- How can someone have 100 sons? (even I was baffled)
- Why did Arjun not say “Oh maa, peeche mud kar to dekh lo” when her mom ordered them to divide “whatever he brought home with his brothers” (which was incidentally Draupadi)

And so many more such questions.
So I finally gave up on these old stories (Also, as a side note, I am looking for a kid friendly English version of Ramayan and Mahabharat, printed or Kindle version. If you know about it, please drop a line)

Now, in our story sessions, I tell him stories from my own childhood – story of my brothers and sisters.
Those are the ones he laughs out so loud and keeps on asking me to tell those again and again
The ones where we left our little brother in a stroller in the middle of the road because me and my sisters were busy fighting who’d push the stroller
Or the silly games we used to play just to make him laugh when he was a little baby
Stacking up all the pillows and quilts to make a king like seat for him.
The story about how we used to come back from the school in our school bus
The watchman we used to see on our way back
Or why was our school bus stop so far away from home
Our little friends in our neighborhood
Fights and games with them
Their strict Nani, their candy lover Nana
Nana getting us kulfi in the hot summer days
Nani throwing away our comics on the “machan” when we didn’t finish our homework in time or fought badly with each other.
Tales of my teachers and days at school
How me and my sisters used to negotiate with each other for school homework
Craziness of my brother about listening that one particular song on the cassette tape hundreds of time by rewinding the song
Collecting coca bottle caps to win a promotional audio cassette tape

And seeing him laugh so hard and enjoying these stories, even my daughter has started joining us for these session and she is getting to know them through these tales
For me, this is my chance to make them familiar to my family who is so far from away from me and whom I don’t get to see for such long times...
I hope they continue to enjoy these stories as much as I love to weave those snippets for them.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Z is for zooming through

So here we are, at the last alphabet and the end of the A to Z challenge. I did get delayed by 2 days but I am glad I still made it through. There were days that seemed difficult, but eventually they were not. Technology has made everything possible today. So access cannot be an excuse anymore.

And, in between all the blogging, the month of April just zoomed by fast. It seems it was just yesterday that the month began. And it is already over too.

But other than the blogging challenge, so many other things happened during the month of April, which I missed to acknowledge here:
  • The tax season is over. This had to be the biggest burden hanging on my head. I do my taxes on my own, after trialing and testing several tax preparation firms. So, I was busy till the very last day checking and rechecking all the numbers, forms and receipts to make sure everything was correct.
  • The next big thing was Aayush preparing in a Indian cultural program. This was his very first experience and participation in an Indian cultural program. With the very limited number of Indians in this area, it is very difficult to keep the kids connected to our culture and customs. So when one of the friends told us about this program, we jumped at getting him enrolled, only realizing it later that it involved taking him an hour drive long place for practice every Sunday. But, in the very end, it was all very worth it. He enjoyed the dance item so much, he even dances to that music now in his free item. He loved dressing up  and the overall masti associated with the dance and music (It was a Bhangra performance)
  • Other things that kept me busy throughout the month were Aayush piano performance practice, participating in a community garage sale (where I did manage to get rid of some of the old stuff from the house) and helping Aayush set up his first lemonade stand at the garage sale. He was really excited for it and I was equally interested in it because this is one skill I’d really like my kids to learn – entrepreneurship, soccer practice for kids, never ending school projects and finalizing summer camp schedule for the kids.

Wow, as I wrote it down, I do realize it was pretty busy. And the month just zoomed by.
And now I am geared up for May as well, with swimming classes starting soon for both the kids, school closing down for summer.
How was the month of April for you?