Big Brother, Busy Bee : Achulde

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Chweety pie : Mommolde

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Am Back!!!

 Unbelievable but true :)
 This has been part of my plans for so many years now! to come back -- not sure whether I can say active blogging - but to revive the space and keep it live, yes!!! I owe myself that much. especially since the noble intention of the blog was to create space to capture the precious moments  that my children can revisit and relive, when they are grown up and curious about how they were when they were young.
But much water has flown since then, its been 3 years since even i visited the space!! But thanks to Google, I didnt have to address the issue of forgetting the password even, integrated account, yay!
Achulde is 7 now and Mommolde is 5, we are in B'lore now , a lot of things have changed, the pace of life has become faster than ever! I'm still stuck with a  job and not even thinking of a career, have thought about resigning atleast 3 dozen times and even initiated it a couple of times!Things haven't changed much that way ;)
 Will get into specifics in the coming posts and will upload the posts that I've typed and stored safely  as well.I hope I can keep this space live and kicking
Signing off for now

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dog Stories

We had sniffer dogs sniffing up the whole   60 acres of campus, ie almost 80+ buildings in the campus, all thanks to the misdeeds of a wicked mind, who made an anonymous call about  a possible bomb  threat to our office campus.
We’d got an email from the authorities mentioning that the campus was being combed , but I for one jumped off  my skin  when I heard a deep panting from behind and turned back  to find a huge canine rite in front of me.
But that was mild, when compared to my colleague’s reaction, when he came out of the rest room to find a huge police dog rite in front of him. And he had no clue about the combing operation also!!
Soon, our project was abuzz with the team proclaiming either about their love for the animal or their fear!! And soon folks were sharing their experiences with canines.
This had me rewinding to atleast 10 yrs back down the memory lane. One of  funniest ever I've heard till date happened to my friend Asha,(P.S: she is a bigshot in TCS these days! ;), this happened, during the first summer of our posting in TCS,Chennai. Asha had this knack of starting and maintaining eye contact with any dog that she came across on the streets of Chennai- she would stare at it and murmur something to shoo it away and the dog , made curious by the unusual attention thats being bestowed upon it decides to reciprocate the same and to check the person out personally, decides to follow her.
And one such time, when she was on her way back from work, she saw  a dog on the road and started practicing her ‘ Art of hypnotizing  a street dog’ immediately. This particular dog, as the case turned out to be, was a wee bit more curious than the ones from her previous encounters and kind of started chasing her in the beginning itself, rather than  sniffing and soflty following,  which is the unwritten rule, in most cases. It even managed to catch up with her and sniff her shoes , which scared the  wits out of Asha  who managed to  jump into a Rickshaw  that was whizzing by!
Scared as she was, for a moment she forgot that she was in Chennai and that Chennai-ites did not understand what the mallu word ‘Patti’ meant. (Patti means dog, BTW). So instead of telling the driver where to go, she just exclaimed ‘ Patti, patti, patti’! to the driver. And that guy couldn’t  fathom what she was telling him, could not link the word to any possible destinations that she mite want to go either. But I guess, he really wanted to help the lady in distress, and it looks like the closest word that came to mind his mind, was ‘theepetti’(matchbox), maybe coz of the rhyming of ‘patti’ and ‘petti’, and his brain would have prefixed the ‘thee’(fire ) to the word ‘petti’(box) in his urge to help. He dug his hands to his pockets , produced a matchbox and handed it over to a much shocked Asha!!! The expression on her face, I can easily envision. She herself couldn’t understand why the guy was offering her matches,  obviously, she was not going to scare the dog by lighting fire there,  but she was courteous enough to say No to the  equally confused rickshaw wallah!
It took an analysis session from us roomies, back home in Mullai for her to find out why the guy offered help with a matchbox!!

Monday, October 18, 2010


I realised how stressed I was when  I caught myself searching for Desiderata in my laptop. The poem was my  must read everyday to keep myself sane while working in a couple of BT projects almost 8 yrs back while working in TCS. That was the time during which I transitioned from a programmer to a module lead, how I despise myself for moving from tech to mgr zone then!!! It was indeed too early
It was for the first time then I started working in a really competitive environment, where your team whandles one module of the program and there are competitor  companies handling other modules. So a bug in the program was unacceptable and   mgrs were on top of you for figures and data and graphs and what nots!The most convenient thing to do was to give them what they wanted and push down the prgramming to the TMs and thats what I had done too!!! Thats the single biggest mistake in my career, I believe. It was too early for me to give up programming.And I must confess ,  I never got back to the technology side at all and I missing that big time!!!
 Hey,I  deviated from the actual topic ages back. Yeah, so during one of those BT pressure cooker days , when I came back to my desk after a  particularly heated squabble with onsite , Desiderata was waiting for me in my inbox as an unread mail and the very first line just swept me in- first thing I did was to have a printout taken and placed rite in  front of me, nr my PC and the comfort I drew everytime I read it was boundless.I moved on and multiple projects happened after that in TCS as well as in Infy, but though I've read Desiderata on and off, it was never on my cubicle after then

My current one is so stressful and I was neckdeep in it without realising that I was stressed to the core  and then I caught myself searching for Desiderata.....
Now I have it in my cubicle  and I keep reading itevery now and then, and the effect is just the same. Magical
I must confess, my TVM days  project was also really really stressful especially the first one year, but then I had a magical cushion there --of wonderful friends, formed at a period in life where I thought I had grown too old for new friends and that too not one but a bunch of them-- will keep that for another time :)

PS : If and where the mind is without fear are two other poems that have a profound effect on me…

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Maruti Suzuki

Achu does have a good sense of humour , I believe! I mean for a four year old, hes doing quite well. The other  day, when Mommo who is yet to get full bladder control, did soosoo on his shorts,  Achulde was exclaiming. ‘ You know what Amma, Mommo is Maruti Suzuki’, I was confused for a moment- both of them love cars, but Maruti Suzuki is neither in their love list or hate list’ . Then he explained further, hes always  Susu-ing in his pants, so we will call him Suzuki J

The other day they were both so much into role play, Mommo was the doctor and he had the stethoscope on and was examining Achu patient, in a while they both were gone to the next room, and then Achulde comes running commenting’ Amma , amma , your son na, the Dr. he has done susu on his pants again!!!!

Jai Hanuman

Achu is a big fan of Lord Hanuman, if I call home from my phone, if hes the one answering the call, it is never a hello, it is a Jai Sreeram, Jai Hanuman from him!!
I guess R’s mother has a very prominent role in this development, when we go to Aluva, she shows this picture book of Hanuman and tells him stories. The lil fellow is yet to realize that people will make fun of him for proclaiming he is Hanuman,. I for one was very relieved when he had switched from Hanuman   for a short time, but now he’s back to Hanuman with full force.
 Sometimes hes carrying Rama and Lakshmana on his shoulders, sometimes bringing Sanjeevani for Lakshman. He transforms into some character or the other in Ramayana, worst is when the two of them are Bali and Sugreeva, they are always attacking with the Gada!!
For a while, he was Narasimha, when he happened to hear the new story, and would tell the full story to anyone who would acknowledge his presence.
And when he is Hanuman, I am Sita and R is Rama and poor Mommolde is Ravana and sometimes his Appuppa is Ravana and them Mommolde gets to become Lakshmana J
The funniest part is he cannot say ‘Sri Rama’, he says ‘CRama’ and then I can’t help correcting him , no Achu he cannot be C Rama, he would be D Rama—the poor fellow wouldn’t understand at all and gets  confused to the core, no Amma it is C Rama only’ and I cant help but tease him more on the same lines :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

An update on my Snip Snip Snip!

Donno, whether you guys remember  an anecdote on my adventures/experiments with Achu's hair just 2 days before his birthday,  well, that got published in the DC newsletter of Infy :)
Had edited it a teeny weeny bit  to remove 'too much of personal stuff'

Here is the  new version

A ‘Barber’ic Act
- Manju Malathy
So there I was, sitting in the lounge of Ruby Salon, waiting for the hairdresser to make his appearance. Achu, my son was on my lap fast asleep. Time, I felt was tired of moving at the same pace always and had decided to take a break and go for a stroll. And time was what I didn’t have on me. If the lil’ fellow decides that he’s had enough of his afternoon siesta, then all my plans stand cancelled. My heartbeat had returned to normal, just half an hour back, when the receptionist at Ruby Arena told me over phone that indeed they do consider and attend to cases where, Moms’ attempts to cut their kids’ hair backfires! ”
It was just 2 days to go before my Achu’s 2nd birthday and that was when I decided that my little one badly needs a haircut. I just couldn’t refrain from
getting into the act, though I very well knew , that all such experiments taken up previously by self also had not yielded good results.
But I just had to, you know and there I go. He has just gone to sleep and wouldn’t get up for the next couple of hours, so goes my calculations. I have all the time- in fact more time than I would ever need and all instruments handy- the scissors, electric shaver, the combs- you name it, I have it. Should try out the mushroom cut this time, the coiffeuse in me whispered, the hair is lengthy enough to permit the style. The little fellow normally sleeps on his tummy, giving me all the freedom to execute the style in all its glory.
Sniiiiiiip goes the scissors from near the right earlobe to the left- I make a straight cut - non-stop. Half my job is done, or so I think, I congratulate myself “well done Mama Bear, good job! Way to go!!.”
Oh well, did I say, half the job is done? Do wait for a moment.
There is this straight line, I agree but what do I do with the hair beneath the straight-line-cut? What do I do with that? Achu would surely wake up, if I use the noisy electric shaver. I will have to rely on the scissors and shorten the hair beneath the line. Maybe I’ll make it crew-cut like. Very clever!
But the scissors had a mind of its own, apparently, ‘coz in no time, there appears a skin colored patch -rite there.
Why is the skin showing up here? Now where did the hair go?
And more importantly how do I correct this? And hey, most importantly, how do I turn Achu into presentable form, on his birthday?
How can I do such a stupid thing?
That’s precisely what brought us to Ruby Arena at half past two on a hot Friday afternoon!
Now, you might be wondering why, I didn’t take him to the hair dressers directly, instead of committing such a crime? To be honest, empathy is the only
reason I have. Why subject the poor hairdresser to Achu’s hate crimes? I don’t know what is it about that class (Hairdressers) as a whole, that
brings out the worst in Achu. Not only does he cry non-stop, but somehow gets super human strength to practice all his kick boxing steps on them as well.
While in Bangalore, all the salons that we’ve visited once have flatly refused to take us for a second session. The funniest was when we went to the beauty parlour run in our apartment complex itself. The lady was so glad to see us both. Looked like we were the only ones visiting her in a long long time. Achu didn’t have a clue that it was for a hair cut session and even had a song on his lips!
There were three trained staff in the parlour and one of them very enthusiastically brought out all the equipments and I noticed the big ‘Q’ forming on Achu’s face. I warned all of them, on what’s in store for them, but they all refused to take me seriously. I sat on the chair with him on my lap, and used the technique I learned from my peadiatrician on how to immobilise a child safely. Though I knew that I wouldn’t be able to hold like that for long. And Achu on his part had started his practice sessions too. The moment he saw the instruments, his energy appeared from nowhere and soon the other 2 girls offered to help and caught hold of his arms and legs respectively. In the next 10-15 minutes that followed, I cannot recollect what all I did, Achu was trying with all his might, the girls were clinging onto wherever they could hold and the main beautician, perhaps not knowing what else to do, had decided to join the lot who were already clinging on. At one point I caught a glimpse of the action on the huge mirror on the wall. I was standing by this time, tightly holding him, so that the scissors won’t hurt him. Achu was clinging onto me and wailing away to glory. The two girls were clinging onto Achu from two sides and one of them was holding me also tightly, I have no clue as to why! The girl who was cutting his hair could be seen once in a while, appearing and disappearing in and out of this formation. And the beautician lady was holding me tightly, with all her mite. Yup, I checked a second time, just to make sure! Apparently ‘coz she couldn’t get to hold Achu, she was standing behind me and had her arms around my shoulders, wrapping me tightly. Achu was so weak by this time, his crying had become a mere whimper, but still he was kicking! When the act got over finally, the much relieved Achu gave a weak ‘Byeeee’ ‘Byeeee’ to all of them; they all were too tired to even respond. I promised myself that I should use my cam-corder next time I visit a parlour, so that I can use the video to blackmail Achu later.
Well coming back to the ‘Birthday debacle’–this time around, I just want to save his face and save myself from some ‘kind words’ from everyone else. I had no excuse whatsoever, for doing such a thing.
And the conversation going on inside the parlour, did not impart the much needed confidence in me either. I can make out from the accent that it’s a client from Maldives.
‘No, no, not like, that, don’t make it short, no, NOOO, don’t DONTTT’.
‘Is this okay?’- I hear a feeble second voice, that of the hairdresser (Let’s call him ‘H’), to which there was no reply for a long long time followed by a very disappointed ‘Anyway you’ve done exactly what I’d told you not to … ‘! Not very encouraging, huh!
Oh well the poor poor guy, I thought to myself, he has no inkling of what is in store for him, in the shape of Achu, his client in waiting!
Achu decides to wake up at this point, leading to the much dreaded ‘worst -case ‘ scenario. Poor Achu and poor poor H that is all I could think.
Soon we had the stage set- only the time and venue changes, the action and the reactions all remain the same — the scenes are much familiar to the lead artists i.e. Achu and self, those on supporting role though initially clueless, invariably jump into action with much vigour, remain stunned on seeing Achu’s actions and then recollect themselves and get into a ‘wrap it up somehow’ mode. And every single time, a couple of enthusiastic onlookers would join, thinking they can help -poor fellows! Once we even had a enthusiastic shopkeeper from the neighbouring vessel shop coming out to help his hairdresser friend.
To cut a long story short, 25 minutes later, we all came out, flabbergasted, exhausted, relieved and glad that it’s over!
Achu said his TM weak Byeeee Byeee this time also and the H was not at all amused. But it was indeed a win-win situation for all of us. Me, because the bald patch had finally disappeared - H had managed to make it a mushroom cut-crew cut mix, Achu ‘coz he had managed to gift the H a couple of dozen freekicks as return gift for favours received and H because we were out of the place finally!

Friday, May 7, 2010

All for this one moment

Have you seen the Lufthansa advt  with the caption that goes ' All for this one moment'.The gist of the  ad is that it has  mulitple pics(an excited boy watching a flight take off, a traveller sleeping comfortable in the flight, a couple meeting each other in airport/flight) with this caption conveying that ' we  dont mind all the hassles and hooplas in our business and are gratified if our customer gets this one special moment in his life , because of us.
The power of this caption came to my mind strongly recently, when a  very tiny  little routine act that happens daily made me think ' All for this one moment'.
  Its so easy to get sucked into the fast pace of our daily lives and end up postponing 'n' no of things, not even thinking about 'n' other things that used to bring a smile to your eyes everytime and do even the most dearest of things that you cherish doing, mechanically. 
Life for me had reached that point y'day and it was not just y'day, it had been going on like that for  quite sometime. The one hour before you start to work is filled to the fullest that it overflows all the time!!!--- running from task to task, completing and tickmarking and then hoping to the next one, defines the hour. Its the most draining one hour , thank God, it comes in the morning.
You will laugh, if I describe the activities.
Helping Achulde and Mommolde with their daily brushing,,making sure that they dont swallow the paste,helping them with daily Potty ,helping them with their bath, helping them dress up, packing their set of  additional clothes and  breakfast- - all look like deceptively simple tasks. But if the two of them have opinion of their own in each of these activities, then its a different ballgame altogether. Mommolde would run with the paste in his mouth to the sitting room, I need to run after him , but the fact that Achulde is alone in the bathroom and the bucket is full of water, would make me sprint back to the bathroom.They start running out of the bathroom ' at the drop of a ...hmmm waterdrop'!!!, I guess, as they know, that , I'll run after them. and invariably one would run and one would stay in the bathroom, making things complicated!! And they hate towel drying their hair, they start running and I just cant let go off them, as I dont want them to catch cold. Since I need to use both my hands to towel dry, I cant hold them and that gives them all the more freedom to run. And I would be in a slightly bent position for this as well, so I need to run after them in that position- Mommolder with the towel over his head and face and running forward, without seeing and me following , trying to dry his hair with the towel- i'd be panting by this time,as its more or less like a frog leaping excercise for me!!!and I need to get back as Achulde would be in the bathroom. You've no idea, how many situps I do in that one hour!!!
But then, once I towel dry Achulde , I wrap the towel on him and I just gather him into my arms , and he'll give me s tight hug and close his eyes and remain there with his chin over my shoulder , without uttering a word and I just look into the mirror and watch his content face happily. Thats my ' All for this one moment'.
And I got a blessing very recently. My lil Mommolde also has started doing the same thing. Ofcourse he has no clue , abt this tiny token of appreciation that’s shared by Amma and Achulde!! So he took my by surprise, when a couple of days back, when I towel wrapped him after the daily dose of  frog leaping cum towel drying and gathered him to my arms, and the lil fellow like Achulde, gave me a hug and fell onto my shoulders, with his eyes closed and sucking his thumb, his face content.  ‘ All for this one moment'!!!