A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


39 Comments

A Sinner Confesseth!

Couldn’t not.

Been tagged by Sash 🙂 And been instructed likewise by the Facebook Group 🙂

And… When there is a spate of confessions that our High Priestess on SAGS, IHM is egging on Wordfully and Wordlessly; and multitudes simply revel in sins they  have gleefully and willfully committed; I am now giving in to temptation.How could I not! I have EVE to thank, don’t I? For me she is the Awesome SAGS 🙂 (no blasphemy here, honest!!)  Well, she was told not to eat the fruit, and being a typical SAGS, very unlike a Gender Stereotype, she had to go and eat it. Adam, well, he was a good boy; and faithfully followed her out! I like to think of that as being the first time, perhaps,  Stereotyping, if at all intended with the package, got thrown a brick at!!!

I guess I do not need to go into the details of the tag, but since I have tagged others, I feel it is my duty to do so 😀

Please list at least ten things you have ever wanted or done which your gender is not supposed to. The tag is called ‘My Sins against Gender-Stereotypes’. And you must tag twelve blogging friends :twisted: or else you will be cursed to wear blue clothes pants if you are a woman and pink shirts if you are a man – for next twelve years :twisted:

Bless me, O Others, for I have sinned… 😀

  • I am (not was, please note :D) a tomboy. I sometimes do not understand why they have to say “Tom””Boy”. Lol! Double underscore a variant in the gene? I grew up with boisterous brothers, and their gang. I played gilli danda, lagori, Cricket (Darned good at pace, I was!), Hockey, Basketball, Throwball (Now that is more girly, but I loved that too 🙂 🙂 ) I still join in the Sports day stuff at school, cheer wildly and jump about, and egg the girls, especially, to go on and out and run and play and all… And watch sports channels. And discuss the latest on the EPL, Champions League, or even the WC, with the class 🙂 You need nothing more to bring zip into the grammar classes 😀
  • Our neighbours would constantly tell my mother to get me out of shorts, during my school days. In Bangalore, way back then, we used to have rather conservative Mallu and Kannadiga neighbours. To give her her due, she did try. I didn’t listen! :P! Even now, at almost 50, in the back of the beyond of the backwaters land, in the small suburb of a semi rural city I live in, my favourite clothes, jeans, is what I wear most often. Not to school though. Dress code, you see. So I can’t 🙂 You can, without any further help, imagine the the expressions I am met with. For a long while, I did not wear trousers; but, the past couple of years have released inhibition, and I am glad I sin 😀 :D!
  • I drive. And well. And I am darned proud of it :D! It’s been, what almost 30 years on, and I still love driving. That’s the car.
  • I cycle. I have gone a bit further. It was a Luna, in college. A Kinetic Honda later. Then a Honda Activa. Then a few of my discs kinda prolapsed and extruded. Got grounded. 😦 Then, the resurrection 😛 😛 ! First Born allowed me to ride his Thunderbird. And that, let me tell you, folks, was the bestestestest!! The Nirvana of an auto aficionado! Can’t wait for Second Born to give me real time lessons, on it. A moped? Ha!!! I do BIKES!!!!
  • I know where I am going, and what I am doing, especially on drives! Can navigate and lead, and find routes better than locals. I discovered that, here in my hometown. I have been, since, giving tips to localites on how to get to places easier and quicker 🙂 And I’m actually a transplant 😀
  • Need to have a curtain rod fixed? Or perhaps your plug is broken? No, don’t call me … 😆 .. but these are things I have found to be very interesting, and so got dad to teach me, a long time ago. What he did not, I figured out for myself soon enough! Most of this kind of work at home I do myself.
  • I stand with and supervise workers, especially those who come to do electrical or painting or construction work, and constantly give them suggestions :P! And men here, as Shail has said in her fantastic piece on SAGS, are rather dumbstruck by it. They always ask for SAAR. I tell them I’m the SAAR!! I even do a bit of painting, window grills, frames, and patches, after they have left so that they dont waste time the next day 😛 :P! Am planning to paint the upstairs of my house, the interior, myself. Long term plan for the vacation!
  • I read. And read. And read. Is that supposed to be something women don’t do, or like or have the time for, perhaps? I do!
  • I don’t like to cook much. When I feel like it, I do cook up a storm, but usually, am not a kitchen person :D! There’s food, and there’s FOOD. Not the be all and end all of life, for me!
  • I am net savvy.Something very very very few women around here are anyway. And it confounds the service persons who come home, when they have to deal with me, and not anyone else. I tell them about the problem, what I think has gone kaput, and what can be done. On occasion I open up the CPU, pull out the RAM, clean it and put it back, when I hear the long piiiiinnnnnnnnnngggg noise, and the monitor does not switch itself on 😀

Is that a ten? *Hi5* to all the other sinners. Actually, it’s not the non conformist in me that I am proud of. In fact it is not about not conforming. It is more about being who you are, man or woman, doing what you like, you love, really, and not thinking about, Oh! Should I?

There was a time, when I did, and conformed to the “T”… but I am glad I found my old self again, and now more than ever for I have found company of so many and that is such a comfort. Contrarily, even if there weren’t, I’d still be comfortable, because I am me, finally 🙂 🙂

And with all this; I still love wearing sarees; mundu vesthi (that is set mundu)–  (no, that is not me in the picture, just one I googled 😀 )a very very traditional Keralite two piece mundu, worn like a sort of half saree  :); I love embroidery  and mirror work; I do mehendi designs on hands and feet for those who like to wear it 🙂 🙂 I love to pamper myself at the beauty salon… 🙂 🙂 I love the feminine, coochy coo me too 🙂 🙂 I’m a die hard Romantic, who weeps when she sees romantic comedies even 😀 :D!

I have sinned. And all the better for it 🙂 🙂 Now can I place this on my mantlepiece?

Oh, I need to tag others! Almost everyone I know here has, with great enthusiasm and obvious pleasure done it! So I am doomed to wear blue pants! (I love the idea though!!!)

Still, let me see….

Soumya, PoonamAareet, Venkat (who has just started blogging 🙂 ) , Praveen SR , Indygurl (even though she is busy 🙂 )… Not quite the twelve, but what does that matter :D! I’m still a SAGS 😀

7 July, 2010


Advertisements


22 Comments

Mommy Dearest…

No, I am not plagiarizing a beautiful title, of a well known Hollywood actress’ biography (Joan Crawford’s by her adopted daughter). Rather, hot on the heels of Mothers’ Day, is yet another special one for me. Mine grows another year younger, and it’s about time I acknowledged that one 🙂 🙂

My SB said to me the other day, amma, you know we’ve been together the last almost 22 years, and it’s going to be difficult na, when I go? I mean, you’ve known me only a part of your life, but I’ve known you all my life! 😆 Understatement, isn’t it? Of course he was just rehashing an old cliché!! But that is the point I’m trying to make. All our lives, we know one person the mostest, I think, our mother, sometimes, more than our father. In India at least :D! And so it is with Mom. Yes, I call her Mummy, Mom, Maaaaa… somehow never got around to calling her Amma, though my kids call me that. On my insistence! My paternal grandma, at her insistence, was called Amma by my brothers and I. That is another story for another rainy-no-muse day :)!

Mom has been the strongest pillar of our family. Not just us, but even hers, I sometimes think. She takes after her own mother, who I have already described in “A Woman Extraordinaire”, with a zest for life, and an unconditional and uninhibited go-for-it attitude to life. She, like me, is the ham  of a club sandwich, the 5th of 10 children her parents had. 11 if you were to count the oldest, a half brother. Life was tough as they grew, she and her siblings; lots of ancestral property managed by the Kaarnavar, or the eldest Maternal Uncle, the head of the family, entirely matriarchal… a childhood of getting, not much at all, just enough to live, dreaming of things, rushing about doing a 100 jobs around the place, along with the others. Going to school, walking over 3 miles up, then down again; taking turns to carry the large tiffin carrier; being denied further studies after her 10th, which only she and her youngest sister passed, because she had been seen, approved and was to be married off!! Tough times. Times that could, I have felt, crushed one with a weaker spirit.

So almost 50 years ago, she got married, a charming 17 year old, to a handsome tall dashing young navy man. My Dad. Though there are times we, both mom n I, rave and rant about men, I have always felt she was lucky, way luckier than her sisters, cousins, relatives, heck, even me :P! But then, I am biased am I not? She got married to my .. MY dad :D! Tougher times ahead, unfortunately! Being the wife of an only son has its problems. A possessive mother in law, who, though never abusive or hurtful, was possessive enough to make things difficult! But, yet again, she was lucky in that she was able to join Dad and travel with him on his various postings. And then of course, she had us 🙂 🙂 🙂 Lucky her! Lol!

With just a year between my EB and me, it was difficult for her to manage us, especially with Dad off sailing for long periods. But manage she did, and beautifully. For, in an alien city, Mumbai, with alien language and customs, she took to it all like a duck to water, and sailed through with flying colours. In Delhi too, the same happened.

She has  taken us to heights, and been with us through all our lows, been firm, yet loosened the bonds and apron strings when required, and kept us grounded and level headed through everything. Just everything. Be it the double fractures my EB had, the sickly chap my YB was, the rebel I became through my adolescence… right through it all, like a rock, she was there, always there. Never preachy, though she had and still has a booming voice when she gets mad 😉 😉 Dad was also there, but he was the strong and silent type back then 🙂 Now he is just the opposite, ever since his grandchildren got him to open up 🙂 🙂

You see, she grows younger as I have already said. She gels instantly with persons of all ages. It takes just a few seconds to get anyone talking, with her listening and drawing them out. She never holds back, be it advice sometimes, knocking common sense sometimes, listening, encouraging, consoling. There are very very few people I have come across who can reach out the way she has. In fact even my kids’ gang of friends are her friends; she never holds back; nothing, absolutely nothing!

When she knew I was going to be alone, in a few months time, there was no, why don’t you come down here, or shall we come there… just a reminder to be stronger, and have real expectations 🙂 And while we still agree to disagree on a lot of issues, the bonds are stronger than ever. She guides, unhesitatingly, and silently. Waits. Never nags, or asks. It’s cool, either way. She gives us space. Our own, and asks we never trample on hers :D!!

Linda Goodman, in her Sun Signs, speaks of the Taurean Woman as someone who walks tall. That’s her, my mother. She’s barely above 5 feet, but towers in ways we never could. To her indomitable spirit, and endless enthusiasm, not to forget her sheer gregarious spirit, here’s a toast! For health, peace of mind (she says that is fairy tale :D), for smiles each day, and less pain, esp around the knee 🙂 :)… (she’s going to blow a fuse when I show her this one, but it will be worth it! )Since she has already approved the Vishu and Thrissur Pooram posts, I think I might strike lucky with a third I share with her 🙂 🙂

Mummy, you’re the best. That is why even we are 🙂 Happy Birthday! May you grow even more years younger, each passing day 🙂 🙂 And may we be blessed to have your grace with us, always 🙂

The slide above has been prepared by my sister in law 🙂 Thanks Trips and Vinu, for saying is so beautifully for all of us 🙂 🙂

(Click on pic to enlarge, to read the beautiful words they have written 🙂 )

11 May, 2010, for 15 May, 2010


10 Comments

Whither to…?

A few years ago, the paddy fields in front of my parent’s fields were as green as this wonderful shade 🙂

Now, labour is hard to come by, people have not time or inclination to work the fields, the owners cannot commit themselves to keeping their fields fertile and sowing paddy, so they have switched crop- banana does not need much attention, is way bigger than paddy grain, and easier to manage. So the landscape changes:

(Click on the pic. above, to enlarge, and magnify to see the tiny banana saplings, on the opposite side)

Both these pictures are taken from the front of my parents’ house, one inside the gate, the first one, and one at the gate, looking outward,  in what used to be a lush village, now turning into a semi city, with a whole lot of “gelf” money pouring in. And it just isn’t the fact that the season is a little different, it is the change in the landscape that this is going to effect! In fact many of the fields have been converted into plots for houses as well. I only wonder as to how long, before even this bit of greenery vanishes.

More comparisons:

I was walking home from a little temple on a hillside, close by, and clicked this one… on the right you can see the banana saplings already growing.

From the opposite side, a couple of years ago,  the same said temple, the fields looked like this 🙂 The pic below is taken from the opposite side of the same “varambu” ie, the little path between fields.

The problems  with the banana crop are a few. First of all, water is not retained in the fields as it is with paddy. So the general ground water level is likely to come down. Next, the fertilizer used for the banana also includes manure, from chicken (does one call it manure? LOL! But chickensh**, seemed rather unparliamentary, so… :D! ) This in turn helps a sort of pest, named “cotarma” in malayalam, flourish, and it comes in swarms, sticks to the walls and ceilings and generally is a well… pest. Can cause certain kinds of rashes too. And cannot be wiped out with insect repellant or anything else 😦 It is rather hateful. So yet again, is this worth it?

Those fields are turning into killing fields for the environment, for sure.

Whither to, our race…? Pun entirely intended.

27 April, 2010


42 Comments

For My Little One :)

Disclaimer : All the research for this post is certainly non emperical, and based purely on personal observation and bias. Lol. Given that, please go on and read at your own risk. There is a sort of guarantee that you might fall asleep half way (being a rather looong ramble) so please have a cushion ready at the keyboard, where you are likely to topple as you gently fall forward, eyes glazed over. Now that is out of the way, do please continue 🙂

Tag time again, and this one is a special one, for a special person, on a special occasion. The second born of course, after the first one got his place in the virtual sun, here and here 🙂 IHM [again :)] had tagged me on how different the second born has been, and has he wiped the smugness off his parents’ faces 😛! Going back to her post, to revise and review, I came across my comment, part of which I’d like to quote, as a sort of introduction, to me too, a second born, the middle one of three, the ham of the sandwich, as I am so fond of saying!

Aeons ago I had this to write on IHM’s post:

Now that I know, and have been tagged :D , this is going to be interesting! I am a second born, and I am going to write about how my second born is so very much like me :D :D ! A stirrer and shake-up-er! Certainly wiped the smug proud parent look off the parents’ faces :P !

I know that IHM, Shail, recently, and others, Indygurl and Solilo have all done one or other version of the tag, both before and after IHM’s post, and each of them have been beautifully done. Being a second born myself, I have felt the heat, felt different, and weird, and all that jazz, and have often wondered, of late, if the little one too perhaps did. Now I don’t. I know  😀 !

They say first born are…

  • way more angelic… ??? 😀
  • way more responsible 🙂
  • seem to mature faster (they ought to, don’t you think, seeing that they need to make space for the second one in line :P)
  • more accomodating, adaptive..??
  • can be easier to engage, in activities…
  • perhaps better readers, too

These I have garnered from snippets shared on different posts with the same thread.

Going by my own history and what I see being made of my offspring (Gosh! what a thought!) I think these are the observations that I deem noteworthy 🙂

  • First borns are indeed angelic ( go on and gloat, all you FBs..Lol!), though naughtier 😛
  • They’re very friendly and engaging
  • Very easy to care for
  • Not in the least fussy, which however, these days (at home, with my FB) is getting me rather impatient! I do wish my big ‘un would at least change clothes, freshen up when he needs to go out, even if it is with me or his friends :D!
  • They’re voracious readers. He can wade his way through a tome quicker than you can snap his fingers 🙂 I think that has to do with the fact that he had so many story tellers as a child. He was the first grandchild for all his grandparents, and the first baby in the house, for his aunts and uncles too 🙂
  • He’s mature and responsible, yes, but forgetful too 🙂

That is the big ‘un. But then this is about the second born, who has been biding his time; and all that while after the April 12 write for the elder one, I have been waiting to do this for the little one. Though there is this verse, of sorts, intended purely for him, you know one needs to balance well, esp with the kids :)!

So, from Kunju, the elder, and me, this is for you Kunjunni, my little one 🙂

Being a second born myself, I find ever so many commonalities in temperament and thought, that it is sometimes amazing. (At the same time I now sympathize and empathize with my own mother :P)And perhaps because of that we mirror so much of each others’ thoughts, and therefore end up having these absolutely grand arguments and fights, dramatically reacting and over reacting, silent sulks and verbal wars. Not to forget, of course, the fantastic wavelength we are on most times, speaking out each others’ thoughts Too!!

Where do I begin to tell you of him?

An angelic baby (who should have been a daughter, I have said ever so often!) he soon proved to be  truly angelic, determined and single minded when it came to routine, people and activities.

It had been so easy to handle the elder one. He’d go along with anyone and everyone… grandparents, aunts, cousins, neighbours 🙂 and could be kept so easily entertained. Well behaved too, if you dont take into account his fondness for throwing onions and potatoes, and on occasion, the heavy iron out of my parents’ 4th floor apt. in Mumbai :D! Stories fascinated him, and still do 🙂

But, the little one? Oh no Siree! Only his Amma for him, thank you. Everyone else was to keep safe distance, and not even THINK of looking at him, let alone TALK. The very thought! Dear God! His lower lip would jut out, curl downwards, and he’d being with a small wail that grew in volume and intensity! To gloss over… travelling with both of them, on my own, which I had to do often, was no cakewalk :D! Exhausting? Way beyond all that!

It took all of four years for him to permit others to befriend him; till then no other than his immediate family, parents and brother, and maternal grandma were allowed into his hallowed space.

The same little one has a circle of friends too many to count, and all of them from a variety of classes and colleges, and places 🙂

Perhaps, because, with the passing of time, he grew with a charm that seemed to knock people off their perch, while he maintained his space 🙂 I have never figured out how he managed to do that 🙂

He has been a quiet Lion. (Ok he is a Leo too :)) not the loud, and roaring variety; in his pre teens. All of which changed when he finished his Std X. The cub transformed then. Quietly there assumed a young lion whose leadership skills were as astonishing, as they were competent. Other colleagues at my school (where both of them studied, poor things :D) began to wonder at the “smiling baby” who seemed, all of a sudden to have grown up!

Do second borns transform suddenly? I’ve wondered. Growing up in the shadow of a more accomplished sibling (the elder one was a prefect and all that… :)), when they find the sun peeking out at them , after the shadow shifts, do they then bloom?

It seems to have been somewhat similar in my case.  With an extra intelligent, talented, athletic elder brother, who always topped his class, played in the U-19 state cricket team, who was Captain of the NDA cricket team later, it was hard to live up to expectations, though none were voiced 🙂 Once he moved out of home, I guess I changed a lot 🙂 First off, I changed courses at college without my parents knowing. From BSc to BA, later informed my folks, who accepted quite gracefully :D! And then got into every possible activity in school, and freaked out. Literally.

But back to my little one 🙂

Once he began his engineering studies, the change became more pronounced. He came across as more confident, the diffidence of his early years having quite been obliterated 🙂 Right up until yesterday, at the close of day, a succesful day of competitions at their inter branch internal competitions at college, he received so many messages of congratulations on his leadership and for his co ordination.

I wonder again. Do the second borns suddenly change with time, and …. I think so. 🙂 🙂 I did. Mine did.

Second borns… yes

  • They have a mind of their own, and are rather unlikely to change it for anything 🙂
  • They experiment more… avidly; and daringly – hair colours, peircing ears, testing the limits of a parent’s patience 🙂
  • I think they are more creative??
  • Are more emotionally insecure, most times?
  • Seem to always feel the need to prove themselves… 🙂

And this young Lion of mine, I always tell him he is a class apart. He swells with pride. Either way, positive or negative that “class apart” may be, he’s happy not belonging to the herd 😛

He jumps in with both feet, into anything and everything

He also puts both feet in where they should not be, his mouth, a lot 😀 😀 :D!

And then the “sorry” game begins… more to soothe, than to repent 😀

And finally his classic line… all his, though he did appropriate it from “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum”

Parampara, Mom, Parampara

takes the cake!

Lol. It would seem that the kid has suddenly discovered his heritage, which he discovered similarities with the other second born at home. His mother 🙂

And why, you wonder, am I telling you all this today? This lion, hot on the heels of another young Lioness is celebrating his birthday on 3 August.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Kunjunni 🙂

Mr President you rock! (ref. to earlier post, to know why President..Lol!)

With fond wishes, and all our Love

The First Amma

The First Brother

The First Dogs – Chinnu, Kuttan, Appu and Paru

and

The First Cat – Malu

🙂

May you be blessed abundantly. Always.

You certainly are your favourite thought personified.

Leadership is about Action, not Position