My little rock stars

Memoirs of my mommyhood

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A dad’s profession

We are taking a walk inside the colony. Tunmun is skating with us. Actually, she is just rolling holding our hands on her either side. We are making random conversations with her.

“Tunmun, do you know what does your papa do?”, asked the curious dad.


“What does he do?” I asked wondering what she makes of his work.

“He kisses me!”

That indeed is the most important thing that her dad does! :)

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Not to be fooled.

R.I.P APJ Kalam.

When the alarm woke me Vibhu up today, he found the sms stating that school will remain closed to mourn the ex president. Hence, we let the kids oversleep. When Venky woke up, he realized that it was way past school time.

“Why did you not wake me up for school?”

“What? What school? Today is Saturday!” Vibhu teased.

“No! Today is Tuesday. Yesterday was Monday!”

“What are you saying Venky? Yesterday was Friday. You finished your Class 6 exams.”

“What? I am in class 4!”

“You have forgotten everything Venky! You are in class 6. You are 10 years old!”

“You are kidding me!” Venky started getting worried.

“No! Don’t you remember anything?”

Venky decided he cannot trust us. So he went to the most reliable source. The smartphone.

“Ok Google, what day is today?”

“Today is Tuesday, 28th of July 2015.”,  answered Google.

Venky pumped his fist in the air and walked off with a winning smile! :)


Vacation snippets


Location: Alaska

It’s a cold rainy day. We were wandering around , halting randomly for views and pictures. We were driving towards the Byron Glacier trail. We had found out that it was an easy trek with the kids and were hoping that the weather will clear up. But that was not to be. It continued to be cloudy and drizzly. We were not sure if the kids were up to it. We were not sure if we were up to it.

“Who wants to go for a trek in this weather?” Asked Vibhu

All of us exchanged looks. Unsure.

“I am game.” Added Vibhu.

“I am game!” Shouted Venky.

“I am game!!” Yelled Tunmun.

“I am game too.” It was my turn to encore.

And thus our adventurous family trekked a mile to the snow in cold and rain. And boy, we made a memory of a lifetime!

Location: Snoqualmie Falls, Redmond

Vibhu is in office. I drive the kids for a picnic day out. Oh yeah, I even cooked fried rice and packed to have a picnic lunch! Kids love the view of the falls from the top and want to trek to the bottom. I don’t want to do that. It is a steep trek. I am worried that if Tunmun gives up on return, I will be in no position to carry her. My adventurous kids continue to insist. I finally relent and we start trekking down. There is jungle on both sides. There is warning about wild animals living in the jungle including the mountain lion.

“Venky see, its not safe!” I point to the notice.

But the kids are not ready to let go of the trek. We make our way down and suddenly there is a ROAAARRRR. Venky is the first one to scream.

“Mommy! Its a lion. I know it! I have heard on it on animal planet!”

He hops, skips and jumps and makes all the way back to the top. I drag Tunmun behind me. I am a little scared too. Tunmun would have made an ideal catch for the mountain lion.

Anyways, we are back and safe. We’ve had enough adventure for the day!

Location: St Lopez Islands, WA

We took a cruise to San Juan Islands. We chose the tiniest and most thinly populated amongst them – the St. Lopez islands. We roamed around in the un inhabited wilderness of the area. You could actually hear the birds chirping crystal clear. What’s more we got to see the sea lions in the wild!

There was an abandoned wooden boat in one of the wilder beaches. It was such a perfect setting for a picture. Venky ran ahead of all of us and jumped inside the boat. Then he started screaming. We ran towards him asking what was wrong. I was worried about snakes and scorpions. Venky just kept screaming. Finally, when his dad made it to him, he calmed down and said that a bee came out from his shoe and had probably bit him.

“Now what will happen papa? Am I going to die in 3 minutes?”

“Well… let’s wait for 3 minutes and see what happens!” Answered the dad.

As for three minutes, they passed without any happenstance. Venky still insists that there are bee varieties whose sting can cause death in 3 minutes. Who am I to challenge him!

Location: Grand Canyon

Tunmun was incredibly excited to see the canyon. She climbed over the rocks and kept jumping with excitement.

“Mommy! I wish I was an ant!!!” Said Tunmun.

“An ant! Why?”

“Then I could climb all the way down to into the canyon!”

Only it would take several lifetimes! :)


My little big girl!

Tunmun is officially big now. All of five! A first grader.

Her birthday was celebrated with a small cake in our Alaskan hotel room. She was alright with not have a big birthday bash. Tunmun just enjoyed her USA adventure. She trekked with us, in snow and rain. She climbed the rocks of Grand Canyon, ahead of her brother. She surprised us by her adventurous spirit.

I always thought my girl was girly. She loves her barbies and accessories. She always wants fancy glitter shoes. Always likes to be dressed up in frocks. Strictly prefers her hair long and flowing. Decides her color of nail paint and wants to change them every week. Such girls are not expected to be climbing trees. Adventure is primarily considered a boys thing. Girls who are adventurous (like moi) are the ones who are tomboys. They prefer pants and play outdoors.

When I saw Tunmun race ahead in every adventure, I was delighted. Her confidence and comfort in being herself is so heartening to see. She does not try to fit in into any given mould. She is a girly girl and also a tomboy. She is neither. She is both. She obsesses over Queen Elsa and insists on buying pink Legos.That does not stop her from enjoying the twisty roller coaster. What’s more, she self learnt to cycle and got rid of her trainer wheels! We have no idea of how and when she picked up the balance. We just found her cycling someone else’s bicycle with no side wheels one fine day!

When I was in the engineering college, it was said that the college has only males and non-males. No females. I think we were conditioned to think that if wanted to have careers like men, we should be like them. I am not sure if we deliberately imitated them or if the psychology played in our subconscious mind, but we did try to be not bothered about our clothes and earrings. We never had nail paints and never visited beauty parlors. We shunned the girly stuff hoping it will make great professionals out of us.

My daughter’s ease with self and surety about what she wants is exhilarating. She is the girl who climbs trees in her shiny dress and glittery shoes. She does not shun her identity to do things that she likes to do. She just picks and choses what she wants from the complete spectrum.  In her I find the little girl, I would like to be!

The uninhibited next generation girls are coming up. I so hope the world is ready for them!


The Birthday is back again

Venky’s grandparents get the Hindi edition of news paper at home. The news paper carried a picture of a hooded snake with an article for the superstitious –  the Goddess Laxmi will come to those who see a hooded snake.

Venky offers an explanation of how one who sees a hooded snake will get rich.

“The snake is standing fanning its hood so it is angry. It will bite the person. The person will die. Hence he will get life insurance and become rich!”

That’s my logical little boy who turned 8 a while back.

Dear Venky,

You drive us nuts with your energy and inability to relax. “Run till you drop asleep!” is your mantra. Essentials of life like eating, sleeping, brushing and even visiting the restroom is a waste of time for you. Consider this,

“Mommy can I watch the Lego movie tonight?”

“Yes, only if you take a nap in the afternoon.”

“OK. I will.”

Venky comes back after 5 minutes.

“Leave it. It’s too hard. I will not watch the movie!”

You are lean and fast and agile. You enjoy outdoors and physical activity ( I should be thankful for that in this time and age!). I being the evil mom have totally banned the video games for you. You do have your friends’ sympathies for that!

You have been devouring books. The house is full of Geronimo Stiltons, Diary of Wimpy Kids and Enid Blytons. I am glad that you love books to the extent of even reading encyclopedias. You have lately started picking up the news paper too.

You continue to champion maths. You’ve been cracking probability questions off late. I hope you maintain your edge. You love for playing is so much that it is hard to catch you for studies! But I am an evil mom and you know it! :)

You show a lot of maturity for your age. Perhaps having a younger sibling helps. Your sister treats you like a third parent, taking you for granted. And you indulge her in spite of being just 3 years older.  You are a sensitive little boy. Our scoldings often put you in tears. You are simple at heart so it is easy to pacify you back :).

Your birthday this year was a small, family affair with your Mama’s wedding over shadowing it. But you played a sport and were just happy to cut a cake and collect cash for gifts ( I  should mention here that you had negotiated with me to convert it all into dollars for our upcoming vacation in USA ).

Conversations have become interesting with you and arguments difficult. And I was hoping you will be the easier one during the teenage! :) I know I’ll be there soon before I realize it!

Have fun my little boy, with books and games and maths problems and vacations. May I mention again – NO GADGETS! :p

Lots and lots of love and kisses ( before you put your foot down against it)

Mommy :)


Sweet nothings

Tunmun makes everyone feel special.

She strikes poses in clothes stitched by Dadi.

She sings and performs for Dadu, who then rewards her with sweets.

As for dad, anything will do.

“Whose jaan are you Tunmun?”

Tumre” (i.e. tumhare which means yours. Thats the final bit of baby talk remaining in her)

“Show me the universe !”

And Tunmun promptly opens her mouth as the dad peeps in.

The bro gets unflinching loyalty. She refuses to buy ice cream if Bhaiya cannot eat one.

What about the Mamma? Yesterday as Tunmun prepared to go to bed,  she said,

“Mamma I don’t want to grow up and be like you.”

What! Am I such a negative example?

“Why Tunmun?”

“I don’t want to grow up.” She repeated.

“But why??”

“I want to remain little so that you are with me. I will miss you when I grow up.”

“So what? I will become little and you will be my Mamma!”

“No. You cannot become little. I know!”

Uh! She knows now that we cannot grow backwards! Another sign she is not a baby anymore!

“OK. But why won’t be I with you?”

Tunmun remains silent. Venky chimes in.

“Yes. Mamma will be old but she will still be there!”

“Yes, like Dadi. I will be with you even after you grow up.” I said.

“But your Mamma is not here. You miss her!”


“Uhmmm. Yes. But I will be with you even after you grow up. If you want me to.”

Tunmun hugs me.

“I always want to be your baby Mamma!”

I sigh as I hug her back. I want you to remain my baby too. But time has wings. And so will you, my sweetheart!


To the point.

In the boys’ gang of our colony, Venky is probably the youngest. He ends up playing team games like cricket and basketball with boys 7 – 8 years senior to him. Hence, we often find him fielding and goal keeping while the other boys are playing with his bat and ball! Venky does not mind the arrangement, but as parents ( and grandparents ) we feel he is getting exploited. We also do not want to interfere amongst the kids so we do the next best thing – nag Venky.

“Why do you have to take the ball every time ? Ask other kids to bring the ball!”

“They bring the ball too!” Venky tries to defend.

A couple of days back, Venky was bought a Kashmir willow cricket bat. Vibhu being a cricket fan himself gets possessive about the cricket props.

“Venky, this is a very high quality expensive bat. Please take care of it.”, said Vibhu.

“Do not give it to other kids to play!” chimed in grandpa.

“Why not?” Venky did not like the advice.

“Because they will spoil it.” I answered.

“They will not.”

“They will. It is your stuff, you should take care of it!” I replied.

“Those are such big boys. They should bring their own bats. They just exploit you and use your stuff.” Grandpa accused.

“Nothing like that! They also bring their bats!” Venky was getting frustrated with our allegations on his friends.

“Venky, you have to take responsibility of your stuff. It is your bat, you should take care of it. Please do not let others use it!” I nagged further.

“OK! What’s the point? I should take care, or I should not share?”

Vibhu and I exchanged looks.

“You should take care.” Both of us answered in a low voice. We knew we were beaten.

“OK! Don’t worry. I will!” Venky answered with finality.

Our lessons in yielding control has already begun!


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