August 24, 2014

Mad About Madras/ Chennai

Old followers of the blog may recall Chennai Chronicles
The last five years away from the city, I see so many changes on each trip of mine.
Here are some interesting books/ reads for kids set in Chennai

TARA
Excuse me, is this India?  is a very well illustrated book- set in whinsical verse, it is colourful and imaginatively illustrated bringing the flavour of Chennai to the non local populace. It appeals not just to children as is the case with most good picture books. The illustrator, a 
Swiss quilt artist visiting the city created her impressions of what she saw, using textiles that she bought while she was here!

Trash! On Ragpicker Children and Recycling
is poignant but not depressing.
Velu's struggle set in various parts of Chennai, raises a lot of questions on child labour , waste management and urban  lifestyle. It was developed in workshops that Tara did over a period of time with ragpicker children. Artist Orijit Sen spent time in Chennai visiting their neighbourhoods, took photographs and reworked the pictures into images for the book. More suited to adults and older children.

Ponni the Flower Seller a photo story of real life service providers of the city- another thought provoking read, though out of print now.

TULIKA
Vaalameenukkum Vilaangameenukkum Kalyanam - based on a Chennai gaana song, my grandma used to read it to my older one

The coming of age stories - Mayil will not be quiet! and Mostly Madly Mayil

A Gift from the sea and My friend the Sea- one of the best things about Chennai


A story and a song and Priya's Day one can claim are set in the outskirts of the city

August 21, 2014

Janmashtami and more

At home for Janmashtami, we churned out cheedai- salt and sweet versions, kai mukrukku, payasam and appam. The girls helped to make the vellam cheedai with such expertise and gusto

Also did some cute paintings., krishna crown and rangolis.



So the real birthday dawned and Anush was paricular about North Indian food and a fancy place
We opted for Barbeque Nation at the Lido and she was so happy with their dance, song, cake and the
food of course. Adi was dazzled and wanted the SAME for her bday!! Talk of advance booking.


Navy took them for some  fun at the games parlour at the mall- yes, even we give in once in a few months.

Also a good word for Tadka Singh who opened their doors early to us for a Sunday brunch!

Anush's gifts included Monopoly, a cycle, a book shelf and books of course.

Chittradurga

We had a long weekend and made it to Chittradurga fort and caves nearby
A day trip is suffcient but be prepared to walk and climb a lot.
Certainly worth it though.

Very good highway for most part, a great guide, cooperative kids, farm fresh melons, gigantic windmills and welcoming sunflowers along the way, all made for a good trip





Here is a wonderful dramatization of the Obavva story that is famous there.

And here is a link with details of what you can see at Chittradurga

August 13, 2014

We are family

When all seem to be lamenting( celebrating) the loss of the joint family it has been different in my case.

I grew up in a nuclear family with no siblings. My grandma joined us only when I turned 17 or so.


Today I live in a joint set up and feel certainly blessed to have one side of the family which supports us completely. And the other which is loving and encouraging, even if from a distance.

But there are moments of discomfort when senior citizens judge my folks for being with us, being lucky to spend their life not as am empty nest but with grandkids.

There are young nuclear families envying us for the support  we have- help/ advise on rearing kids,  liberty to travel on work on the same days, adult company amidst all the kid rearing, house keeping.....

But this set up can work only if everyone respects, adjusts and carries their own share of the work and moves on despite the inevitable differences.

Live and let live I say!

August 11, 2014

Anush's Ninth Bday Party

Anush chose the theme, her outfit, hairstyle, friends list,activities , menu all herself.
My baby is growing up!!

Theme: Sunshine/ Sunset Fun.

Menu:
Raw banana Bajjis , Cheese Pasta,  Waffles with mango icecream,  Goldfish biscuits

Activities:
Photo with Ms Sunshine
Treasure Hunt
Movie: Goonies with Adi as the usherer
Hoop Chain 
Dance with props


Goodie bag:
Embellished with a Sun by the sisters
Your Turn now - from FunOKPlease
Stickers and chocolates
AND a cute sunny story by her , illustrated by none other than the very generous and kind Ashok Rajagopalan of Gajapati Kulapati fame!!

August 08, 2014

Anush's star ninth

Wow. My little girl is growing up!

While I fear for her, I know she needs to go out there and explore
While I have dreams for her, I hope she chases her own and has some of them come true
While I care for her, I am sure she knows to and will take care of herself and a few others too
While I do not want her to get hurt, I know she might but she will rise stronger

I am a super proud mom and (slowly) I will learn to let go and to hold on,
As the situation and she demand.


Many Many Happy Star returns to our first darling.
May the world be as kind and cheerful to you, as you are to it.

Adittys

My little singer who wants to do all her big sis does
Taken to writing so well , continues to dance like a dream

As for an Aditty- her latest is :Sricondensed
( she loves srikand and condensed milk)


July 30, 2014

Yercaud Calling

Our family vactaion with Navy's side of the family took us back to Yercaud

Last time also we stayed at Sterling  but sans Aditi and Navy and with a newly minted one year old  Anush and her maternal grand folks. We managed a lot of sight seeing then as it was a small gang and all early risers.

This was a different kind of fun- the adults ate and chilled out and gupshupped, the cousins bonded.

Discovered an eatery called Sri Saravanabhavan which served yummy clean Tamil veg food.


A quick & fun get away for sure. The journey though was hot!


July 23, 2014

Movies and more

Saw a lot of movies recently :
Humpty Sharma- not worth it
Dhrisyam- can see many times, very gripping
Samayil araiyail- very sweet, Cheeni kum types and truly for foodies

The girls went for the ET show with their father.
Was surprised they recalled all the acts and also some from the previous year

Adi is steadily mastering reading. So happy to see her excited about her own skills.

Anush's quilling is good enough for her to create earrings for herself and her sister

The loom is not in use but the girls enjoy the  band weaving kit their I aunty got from the USA.


July 14, 2014

This and that

I had an official trip to Tuticorn but enjoyed the me time to shop at Gnanam bakery ( macaroons, nutbar, cake) and roadside nongu and jaggery shops.

Saw Bobby Jasoos the previous weekend and loved it, wanted to watch Humpty but did not

Kids and Navy enjoyed the ET show with all its new acts. Was amazed that the girls recalled so many minor details from the previous year as well.

Had a great family get together on Saturday. And a lovely 80th bday of a family friend that we decked up for.


Story telling is going on well- an article this year as well in The Hindu Metro Plus.
Story writing is going on well too but not acceptance by publishers...heheh.



July 07, 2014

Another year goes by

Completed thirteen years in my current job. WOW.

Well the last few months have been tough yet rewarding.

Here is to easier and fruitful times!