Monday, June 07, 2010

July 2009 update - Sweety mausi's visit

I promptly rejoined my alma mater MMI at West Coast. It was great seeing Ms. Rahimah, Ms. Nisha, Ms. Li Fen and the rest. Whats changed this time over is that I am chauffeured in a van to my school. Last year, it used to be Appa dropping me off in the morning for me to be picked up in the afternoon by Amma. Besides, I now have my own bus card that i carry around everywhere and tap proudly in buses!!
Sweety mausi visited us in Singapore and I had a great time taking her around Singapore. We did the mandatory Esplanade, River walk and Merlion.
Achievement of the month!!! I should tell you all that I now have the proud privilege of being able to enter Småland, kids' own area in Ikea which means that I am now 36 inches tall. I was envious all the time until now because with the height prerequisite I never could go in earlier. I had a gala time that day with me just running around just like that and watching TV and just enjoying myself in the enclosure while Appa, Amma and Sweety mausi shopped to their hearts' content.
The racial harmony day celebration at school was fun.. There was a fashion show and Appa gave me a quick lesson on how to make an impression from the catwalk stage. Not that I needed one!!! Anyways I followed his instruction to a T and Amma was mighty impressed. There were also performances by the teachers and my Amma was in traditional attire, the sari, with me in a kurta.
It was a joy to reconnect with my new big tub bath with my friends the dolphin, whale, shark, crocodile, and the sting-ray. We all also went to the newly rejuvenated 'Hort-Park' with Mihir-Vaishnavi-Annu-aunty-Kishore-uncle joining us. We fed the fish at the entrance and then played at the kids-park. Then Appa took us kids to the glasshouses which had different kinds of flora in there maintained at their appropriate temperatures. It was a great way to end the day.
Appa had planned a little surprise for Amma and Sweety chithi. He took them along to the Singapore International Jewellery Show 2009 and there he managed to surprise them with gifts. I was just yawning away and wanted to get out of there asap. The Fountain of Wealth show there was a treat for the eyes after the boring jewellery show!!! We had dinner of roti-subzi prepared by Amma and Sweety mausi by the fountain and that was awesome.
I am back to my old ways at school. It is fun and the biting is too!! I managed to bite 3 different kids over a period of 2 weeks that had Amma and Appa pulling out all stops to get me to behave. When asked why, I did tell them that I knew biting was wrong but just went ahead and did it. In addition to the regular daily discussion about how biting was bad, this episode also brought about a daily check of whether I had bit anyone that day. This daily check process helped to eliminate the biting very soon..
It was just great to be back with Appa and I had missed him very badly during my long stay in India. I also met Shreyas, my little friend at Little Guilin. It was great fun and I did love the rock climbing over there.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

March 2009

Visit to Kalyanpur
While Appa was in Bangalore, Amma and I continued our exploration of the hinterlands around Ambikapur. The highlight in March 2009 was that of a visit to the village of Kalyanpur near Ambikapur. We saw fields of sugar-cane, stacks of sugar-cane, hills of haystacks, farmhouse with cows, goats, hens and buffaloes. A highlight of that visit was understanding the jaggery process: The sugarcane was first crushed to extract juice, juice boiled in huge vats and then balls of jaggery were made. The ladies in charge of the juice boiling department were constantly on their toes trying to prevent me from swimming in the concentrated sugarcane juice. They were saying in their Surgujya dialect "Arre o babu.. kudh jaye ho tho gud ban jaye ho (English translation - Hey kid.. don't jump.. or else you'll become jaggery).
Having come to a farmhouse, like every self-respecting kid from Singapore, I was expecting to see Barney there with his jingles and was very disappointed when I could not find him.
I also saw huge mounds of potatoes and I had fun sleeping on all those potatoes. The fields and the vegetables were so green. There was also a ride on a tractor. All this was capped off with a nice-little bath at an irrigation-pump delivering water to the fields. I saw a cow doing haggu in the open and I asked Amma why these cows didn't go to the loo to go about their business.
And then there was Holi. It was a huge difference from staid Singapore where you may get fined for throwing colors or colored water on assorted strangers. Out in Ambikapur, Holi is a spectacle. I was busy collecting pichkaris and colors and then making the holika in the street along with the other boys. Holika-dahan where the stack of all the wood and sticks and leaves and other assorted flammable material were finally burnt was a great deal of fun. The next day, we played holi from 7 am to 7 pm with both colored water with pichkaris and dry colors 'gulal'. The mystery to me was why everyone were shouting 'holi hai' (it is holi) when everyone knew that it was holi. Tag this to the list of unexplainable human eccentricities!!!

Feb 2009 update

Brrrrr... February can get very cold in Ambikapur. I got a chance to experience winter in Ambikapur. That was a month of many firsts..
Seeing the buffalos grazing near naani's house..

Winter in Ambikapur

Lacchhi-paati gets me a new toy everytime she returns back from school and I now have a good collection of those toys and I enjoy playing with them.

Here's my favorite "Rock-On" pose alongwith Shubham. I enjoy playing with him every evening and watching the sun-set sitting on the stairs.

I have my own little special bathtub. And I enjoy my weekend massage and then a bath at Aayu's place. 

Spring is also in the air now.. The garden has started blooming with many flowers - lotus, dahlia, roses, marigolds and many more. And its such a great experience watching them grow and enjoying them.Gardener Dhananjay-bhaiya also gave me some gardening lessons.

We then went to Nagpur for a surprise visit for my thatha's 70th birthday wishing my Nagpur thatha, my Nagpur paati and meeting my cousins Ankita and Uday.

I also had some great fun pulling out home-grown carrots and tomatoes.

I have now also started prayers to Surya the sun god. My Sweety mausi offers jal (water) everyday to Sun and I have also picked up the practice. I love Sweety mausi so much that I call her Sweety mother (just like Lord Krishna has two mothers - Devaki and Yashoda). For everything starting with brushing teeth to sleeping, I look for Sweety mausi.

My neighbour Guddu-maama gives me a daily motorcycle ride.

I have my own little special bathtub. And I enjoy my weekend massage and then a bath at Aayu's place.

I also visited the school that Amma studied in and also where she taught for awhile.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

January 2009 update

It was a depressing start to 2009. All the three of us, Amma, Appa and myself went down with flu which we may have caught from our new year revelry at East Coast Park. We had to postpone our Bangalore trip by a couple of days and then when we arrived there, Bangalore was very cold and Bagyam-paati also had to undergo an emergency operation.
The entire time we were there, we were mostly visiting the hospital. Appa took me go-karting at Patel's Inn. I decided then that when I become big, i'll be an F1 driver and my car will go zoom-zoom-zoom very fast!!!
Appa also wanted me to experience the Birla planetarium in Bangalore and we had a good time viewing the story of our universe and its various inhabitants.

Appa also took me to the Visweswariah Museum in Bangalore which is where he said he learnt a lot of things while he was a kid. I saw scale models of India's rockets, the various machines, the optics displays and except for a minor scare when I went missing from Appa and Amma's radar for about 3 mins, everything went fine there.
I also witnessed first-hand the whims of Bangalore's auto drivers. Appa got into a swearing match with an auto-driver outside the museum who demanded payment far beyond the normal rate. There was also a ludicrous experience when the fare went above 99 and the auto-driver immediately raised it to 115 and Appa was mighty pissed with that and kept on arguing on the principles and the policeman interceded and Appa had his way. Appa then told Amma that it wasn't worth arguing. His verdict: Just don't take the auto.

We also managed to catch up with Harsh maama at Crossword and we also had a shake-shake fries experience in McDonalds. In Singapore, the shake-shake fries seems to be an alien concept.

Then I went to Ambikapur, my mom's maika (hometown) to see Lacchi paati (grandma). On India's Republic Day on Jan 26, I went to Lachi-paati's school and watched her unfurl the flag and joined the kids in singing the national anthem.

My doctor perima (aunt) had come over from Benares where she is training to be a doctor. She told me the importance of brushing teeth regularly. This made Amma's job a lot easier and now I brush my teeth regularly without a lot of persuasion. We also went to Mahamaya mandir (kovil) and Sai mandir (kovil), two of the most important places to visit in Ambikapur.

The song of the month was Massakali