Friday, December 28, 2007

2007 : The year that was

Recollection of the ups and downs of 2007 …


  • Cantaloupe gave her first stage performance. I directed a dance drama for kids. The kids were 6-8 yr old … so you can imagine the proud moment BP and I shared when our then 2.5yr old daughter matched steps (??) with the others on stage. Though she was not perfect with her steps and did her own things a couple of times during the show, I should not take away any credit from her for just giving a cute/ spirited performance and entertaining the crowd. By the way, she had put on the costume of a baby sparrow and looked adorable!!
  • One of my close cousins got married (31st Jan) … the whole wedding arrangement was done by my parents. Both her parents work, and they conveniently passed the wedding responsibility to my parents. Now, let me reserve the details of the same for another post.


  • My parents finally were convinced to travel, and agreed to spend the summer with their only grand daughter “Cantaloupe”
  • BP and I debated quite a bit about changing schools … Cantaloupe was going to day care till such time and we finally decided that she was ready for pre-school. And so we went to get the pre-school application, only to realize all slots were booked and we were waited listed. (wait number being 50, 150 in the two schools we enquired). Apparently the applications are given out the first week of Feb and seats get filled in 2-3 days!! We went there around 3rd week of feb and obviously were late!! Now we had already given the notice to her previous school about discontinuing during summer (she was going to spend time with my parents). Instead of running the risk of not getting into any of the school, we paid her day care and reserved the slot for September. They agreed to refund our money back anytime we decided not to come back to them. (of course they would hold $100 fine)
  • One of my close uncles, (mama) surprised us with his decision to visit us this summer.


  • Mama’s visa application was rejected. (L) Researched a lot before applying for visa again. (they had already blocked their tickets and we had planned how we were going to spend the 30 days together)
  • Work front, cleared an important exam which added value to my resume J (I studied for a test / exam after a gap of 7 yrs … so it was quite an experience).
  • One of my dad’s good friends ended his life … shocking news to all of us!
  • BP’s brother transferred all ancestral property to his name … BP was hurt not because he was not given his share, but because he was not even consulted / informed about it until all legal formalities were completed. But BP maintained his dignity and did not speak a word of displeasure… just congratulated his brother.


  • Mama’s visa was rejected again … parents arrived here much to the excitement of Cantaloupe. They bonded instantly. (in about 10 mins time … considering she was seeing them for the third time, first time at her birth, second for a short period of 5 days when she was a year old … I should think this was great!!)
  • BP elected part of the committee of a local community club.
  • Cantaloupe discontinued day care.


  • We visited Mount Shasta and Crater Lake. It took us exactly 15 mins to decide we were going to drive to these places and within the next 30mins, we were all set!! It was fun filled experience with my parents and sister’s family
  • Sister graduated with Master’s degree… proud moment for me and my family… couldn’t help a tear escape!


  • Moved to an interesting project at work… commute of 1.5hrs each way!!
  • Traveled on office work for the first time after Cantaloupe was born!! Though I missed family, especially Cantaloupe a lot, I must admit, I enjoyed the being alone and solely concentrating on work!


  • Thanks to my parents and sister, Cantaloupe’s birthday was celebrated in a most memorable way.
  • Continued to hog on rare delicacies …. Thank you amma.


  • Parents and sister visited the East coast. For most part of the month, parents at my sister’s place.
  • Cantaloupe got admission in the pre-school she was wait listed just 2 days prior to school resuming. Yipppee !!!
  • The old school ate up their words and refused to refund back our money … a loss of $1000 dollars !! (We are still fighting the case to get back the money … though our chance looks slim ... verbal assurance is hard to prove)


  • We went camping in the wild with Cantaloupe and parents for the first time!! Sleeping in a tent on a star studded night, cooking with minimum provision, campfire, dip in the nearby lake … everything was just perfect.
  • Jet skied for the first time … Cantaloupe did great as well!
  • Parents went back to India. It was hard initially especially for Cantaloupe …
  • First complaint about Cantaloupe from her school. (she had not completed her art work and had ignored her teacher’s instruction)
  • Watched "Chak De India" with BP in theatre... the only movie watched by BP and I as a couple for the past 3 years. (we have watched 7 movies in theatre in the past 7 yrs of marriage)


  • Organized a sports day for the community club. The treasure hunt and donut eating competition were instant hits with the crowd. Cantaloupe won the 2nd prize in fruit eating competition.
  • Cantaloupe got her first “Line Leader” tag for being the best kid in the class.
  • BP extremely busy at work with some POC(working 15 – 16 hrs a day)
  • One of my dodamma (dad's brother's wife) passed away after prolonged illness.


  • Spent our anniversary relaxing at a beach resort.
  • First time thanks giving black Friday experience for BP … he was so excited to buy the flat screen monitor and GPS system for great deals. (not to mention, he had resisted these items for the past 8 months … he was thrilled to bits)
  • Work: Project I am working on came to a halt all of a sudden … surprised all of us in the team.


  • Cantaloupe got her first pre-school report card ... considering her aggressive / mischievous self, it was shocking to see her score quite nice in 90% of the activities. (she has been asked to practice paper cutting … we are working on that during the break)
  • BP takes a week’s break from work to spend time with his dear daughter!
  • Missing sister since she is in India for a vacation. (we meet atleast once a week … so this is hard for both of us and Cantaloupe)
  • Ramp down of team at work … size reduced from 40 to 10 … glad to be part of the remaining 10.
  • Can’t wait for the new year!


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

All in the name

Couple of weeks back I caught up with one of my good friends. She was planning her visit to India end of year for her Brother-In-Law’s wedding and was excited about the trip. She even shared with me the sarees / jewellery she planned for the wedding and the purchases she had planned for the wedding. She asked me for gift suggestions … games that could be played after / during the wedding etc etc … one thing for sure, she was certainly looking forward to this trip.

Over the weekend, I caught up with the same friend again and I could see a drop in her excitement. It did not take long before I found out the reason. Apparently her in-laws had taken the liberty of changing her last name to their family name and had it printed on the card. (The cards were not finalized …) What is strange is that both her in-laws are quite educated and do understand her preferences for her name. (There have been other instances where she has made it clear that she prefers her name a certain way) Another point that irks her is that her MIL, has not opted for the family name, she continues to keep her Sur name before marriage. When her MIL holds so much importance to her Sur name, why not give the same respect to my friend’s last name?

I can see my friend’s point here. I think the name change after marriage should be solely the individual’s decision. (may be the husband can pitch in … but wife should have the final say). I hold my name (Initial. First name, Sur name) in high regards. I have been known all my life before marriage by my name. My first or last name alone may not ring a bell to many … but together a lot of folks identify me and I like my name just the way it is. BP supported my decision wholeheartedly when I did not want to change my name after marriage. A lot of friends did change their name … most with their consent. My mom changed her name too, again her decision.

In the above friend’s case, she had decided to keep her name and her husband was just fine with it. Now, she is all excited about her BIL’s wedding, she has been upset over this name issue. When her husband pointed it out to his parents, they initially brushed it aside as being childish. Now they have settled down with just her first name being printed, while everyone else keeps their full name!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Weird me ... tag

Tag time again … this time Aryan’s mom has tagged me to reveal 7 random / weird things about myself.
Disclaimer: I am NOT a weirdo … pls don’t stop visiting my blog after reading about the weird me.
So here goes:

  • I am a very emotional person … there are some “special” songs which remind me of some people dear to me. The moment I hear these songs, tears flow down my cheeks liberally … irrespective of the situation / mood I am in. Even before I realize it, I am already sobbing!!! Interestingly I come across as a very strong person in office!
  • Growing up, I had this unique gift where in I subconsciously (during sleep) learnt stuff I intended to learn when being awake … it could be a memorizing a poem, my lines for a drama or points for a elocution / debate competition. I’d read through the script just a couple of times before going to bed and surprise … by dawn, it was all in my head!!!
  • I never went to theatre to watch movie for a period of 10 long years … it all started with me trying to test my temptation from going to the theatre. We, as a family would go and watch movies in theatre quite often. It would usually be on a Saturday for the show at 8:30pm. The chosen day and time ensured we got family outing and did not have to compromise on our studies. One fine day, I decided not to go for no particular reason …. And ended up not going for the next 10 years. Never once did I miss the theatres. (in fact even now I am not very fond) But I continued to watch stuff on TV and was quite update on movies!!
  • I have this habit of writing down multiplication tables in the reverse order all the way from 25 to 1. Whenever I find time, be it at a bus stop, doctors clinic or in the train / plane I start writing the multiplication tables.
  • I have a clock system within my body … if I decide to get up at a certain time, even before the external alarm goes off, my body alarm wakes me up. The time setting can be anywhere from 5 mins to 5 hrs … it just works. This has helped me a lot … especially during my student days. I would decide to rest my body for 10mins and go for a nap and after 10mins felt very relaxed and refreshed.
  • I wasn’t too fond of shopping growing up … in fact I can count on the times I went to shop. All my clothes were hand picked by my mother until I got married.
  • I hate hate hate dressing up … I put on very minimal make up (lipstick and kajal is make up for me). I am glad BP hates make up just as much as I do. My mom and my sister are quite big on the make up and we have had several arguments on this topic!

    Now any one reading this is welcome to pick up the tag!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Introduction to Arithmetic

(Conversation between Cantaloupe and me... idea behind my conversation is to emphasise the concept of addition / subtraction).

Me: Cantaloupe ... how many of us are in this house now?
Cantaloupe (C) : One (pointing to herself), two (pointing to her dad), three (pointing to me)
Me: (satisfied with her answer) Good ! Now tell me, how many will be there if say your friend S came over to play with you?
C: (immediately) Four
Me: (Not bad ... she is quick ... and knows addition) Great ! Now tell me, if amma were to leave for work, how many would be left in the house ?
C : (instantly): Three
Me: (Beaming with pride with her daughter's subtraction skills) Thats correct ... now tell me, how many would be there in the house if appa left for work?
C: Three
Me: (instant reaction) No ... count again ....
C: Three .... because, if appa goes to work, you will be with us, taking care of us !!!
Me: (She is smarter than I think she is .... must really come up with better examples)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Diwali updates and more ...

Diwali was celebrated with much enthusiam ... Cantaloupe sure had loads of fun. Even if I hadn't planned, ended up celebrating Diwali for 3 days ... exactly the way I would have loved it to be.
The first day, Narakachaturdashi was celebrated at my sister's place ... thank you Sis ! I had so much work in the office that day, I could not have managed all the arrangements. It was wonderful to start Diwali with family. She had managed to find "Party Poppers" which turned out to be fun crackers for us ... and annoying sound making wraps for Cantaloupe. But we adults had fun.
Lakshmi pooja was performed with much devotion ... the slokas recitation role was mine and the flower offerings were done by Cantaloupe. She enjoyed the pooja and promptly recited the slokas she has thus far learnt. (though none are "Lakshmi slokas" ... nonetheless, I believe "HE" will not mind ... she recited them with a lot of sincerity). BP was surprised that I had managed to perform the Pooja and pull off an authentic Karnataka style dinner on a weekday. (it was friday and a working day). Cantaloupe and I decorated the entire patio with candles. BP helped out with the series light. Our home looked lovely !!! We even managed to introduce "Sparklers" to Cantaloupe. Initially apprehensive ... her inhibitions were soon replaced by over enthusiam. It was hard for us to call stop the sparklers :)
Balipadyami was again a family gathering ... this time, my sister's family visited us for dinner. Though I would have loved BP to have performed the pooja the evening ... it was fun. The house was again decorated with scented candles and series light. All of us had fun with the sparklers and the party poppers. An elaborate dinner with all the family members at the table wrapped up our Diwali celebrations.
Ever since Diwali ... Cantaloupe is ready for the next celebration at home :)

The weekend after Diwali, we managed to escape to a beach resort, about an hour 's drive from our place. It was our anniversary and we managed to have a quiet family time in a small town. Cantaloupe loved the resort, beach ... she was busy building sand castles with BP while I soaked the sun and felt content watching father / daughter bond.
Our drive back, we picked up some delicious strawberries ... leaving Cantaloupe and her mother end their vacation on more than HAPPY note.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Diwali


Wishing you all a very Bright, Colourful and Safe
Diwali !!!

ps: The first time, Cantaloupe will be lighting sparklers ... will write about how that goes

Friday, October 26, 2007

Cantaloupe gets it from me !

Last weekend we bought some fresh ripe strawberry from the Farmer’s market. The very sight of them was inviting enough for anyone to gobble atleast a dozen.
Cantaloupe being an ardent strawberry sure enough ate her heart’s content.

As I saw her enjoy the strawberries, I was reminded of the time I was expecting Cantaloupe.
Strawberries were my favorite. Any time of the day, I was ready for them … mind you, I just had a mild liking for strawberry before I got pregnant. Somewhere, the pregnancy cravings kicked in and strawberries topped my chart of favorites at that time. I continue to eat them even now … but I am not crazy about them the way I used to be. Cantaloupe reserves that quality!!!

Also I had a distinct aversion to “Mustard seasoning” (tadka). I hated it … I would patiently separate out individual mustard seeds from the dish before I ate it. Thankfully Cantaloupe has not got this repulsion!! (again, I developed this dislike only during pregnancy)

Another friend of mine, when she was expecting said, she had developed a special liking for “Papads” and every meal HAD to go with papads. She also loved idlis and consumed loads and loads of them when she was pregnant. Sure enough … her little boy, is a true Idli fan. Anytime I know they are going to visit us, I make sure, I have soft idlis ready for the little boy!

I’d be interested in hearing any special likes / dislikes you might have developed during the “Special” period and see that your little one has inherited the same.

Friday, October 19, 2007

My FIRST award - Schmooze Award

I have been awarded ... what ??? Me?? Am I sure??? When Noon mentioned "Cantaloupe" in the "Schmooze Award" list ... I was like, is that Me??? May be there is another Cantaloupe. And the good soul that she is, Noon sure left me a comment about my award in my blog, erasing any doubts that I had!

And so THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH for my FIRST and possibly ONLY award :))

Some how the word "Schmooze" made me unfortable for the first time I read it. Then online disctionary came to my rescue and cleared my dirty mind.
This is what is says:
verb (used without object) 1. to chat idly; gossip.
–noun 2. idle conversation; chatter.

Now I am more comfortable with this award ... (wow, I won it !!!) It really feels great, since I am newbee in the blogging world (not really ... I used to write under a different name) Thanks again Noon.

And now to spread the joy ... most of my fellow bloggers whom I enjoy are already awarded. (calm down Cantaloupe ... you are one of the last ones to get the award). Poppins, Usha, Noon ... these folks are already awarded and I miss SS.
But here are some fellow bloggers whom I enjoy:

Anita: She has a unique style of writing and her bloaps are definitely worth a read.

Kodi's mom: Her humorous style always leaves a smile on my face.

KT's mom: Simple style ... yet the message is sent across.

Pixie: Mostly relatable most ... perhaps because of similar upbringing.

Shruthi: She touches on various topics ... and writes beautifully. (in her blood :) )

Congrats folks !!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Our Songs

Noon tagged to come up with “Our Song” list and engagement story. I have already written about our engagement story.

Moving on to “Our Song” list … hmm, well, first a disclaimer.
“This list is written by me because the songs mentioned are “Special” to me … if BP is asked about it, the most likely reply would be “I love these songs … but are they “Our Songs??”

It was the night we had arrived from India, after our marriage. For me, it was the first night, I was spending in the US. Being so far away from family, first time in a new land, new settings, I was going through a lot of emotions. As we settled down on our bed, BP came sat, beside me, patted me on my head and said he’d like to sing a song for me. The song was “Minchu hula, minchadiru ….”. I was soooooooo touched. I had never heard of the song before. (really felt stupid having missed out on such a romantic song till then). The lyrics of the song could not have been any more romantic. It is a movie song where the hero compares his girl to precious things and concludes, his doll (girl) is better than anything else he has ever known.
I had tears in my eyes … I had never imagined BP to be so thoughtful … he had just ensured a perfect setting for us to start our life together.

Another song which I consider “Our song” is yet another kannada song. This was again, during our initial days in the US. I knew BP was not trained in Carnatic music, he had a very basic understanding of that kind of music. Myself, being trained in music, I always had this habit of converting movie songs which appealed to me into music notes and recognize the “Raaga”. One evening, I was preparing our evening snacks, setting the table ready before BP came back from work. I was humming the song “Mellusire Savi gaana, Yede Jhallane Hoovina baana”. Then I heard BP surprising me with “Sa sa sa sa sa…. Sa sa sa sa” … basically he sang the same note “Sa” in the tune of the song  Could not just control my laughter !! Even today, everytime, we hear this song, we look at each other and say “Sa sa sa sa …. Sa sa sa sa”.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Moral of the story

Last night I was narrating a bed time story to cantaloupe. I was narrating the “Grapes are sour story”

Me: There was a fox who was hungry… found grapes …… etc etc …. And then the fox jumped, jumped again and jumped again but had no success … finally the fox decided that the grapes are sour and went away.

Me(to myself): I must add some moral to this story …. Hmm … ok

Me(to Cantaloupe): So you know, you must never give up like the fox … you must keep trying, anything you cannot get is not sour really.
Got it?

Cantaloupe: Oh yeah amma

Me(so proud of her): So what did you understand?

Cantaloupe: I will keep jumping in the class !!!! I will never give up, no matter what !!

Me: WHAT ????????

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What it takes to get a bite …

6:30am – wake up – I am hungry … I need tea … but BP is asleep and both he and I want fresh tea. So decide to wait.
7:00am – BP still sleeping … cannot control hunger any longer and decide to wake him
7:15am – Sip a cup of tea – hunger satisfied temporarily
8:00am – Hot idlis ready for breakfast … but have a conference meeting… so cannot afford the meal.
8:30am – Conference ends – Cantaloupe has to leave for school at 8:45 and she has not had breakfast yet. Motherly duties – Cantaloupe fed breakfast and sent to school.
8:45am – Put idlis on a plate – Call from office for a quick discussion.
8:55am – Swallow the 3 idlis on plate … want more … but haven’t prepared them – No time to prepare either – another meeting at 9:00am
9:00am – Noon – Meetings / Office work
Noon – Cannot tolerate hunger anymore – put the rice on my plate when I get a call from Cantaloupe’s school that she has got an eye infection and that her eyes have swollen and are teary.
Leave my plate and rush to the school, bring back Cantaloupe, pacify her. Wash her eyes … help her rest on my lap for a few mins.
1:30pm – Finally get to sit with my plate of rice. As I am eating, Cantaloupe wants to share a bite … sure enough, share the food with her. One of those rare days, when there is no extra rice. So half meal!!!
2:00pm – Cantaloupe is sleeping and I continue work.
3:45pm – Leave home for the doctor appointment. Just want to be sure nothing is wrong with Cantaloupe.
5:45pm – Thanking God as there was nothing seriously wrong with Cantaloupe and then thinking about the food I would eat as soon as get back home.
6:45pm – Reach home. Turn on the tava and mix the batter for some yummy uttappa. One Uttappa poured on the tava when Cantaloupe wants to go to the rest room.
Attend her and come back to find a burnt Uttappa. Pour a second one … when I hear Cantaloupe tripping over something. This time, I am wiser and set the stove on low heat. Attend Cantaloupe and save my uttappa from being charred. Pour my next Uttappa when Cantaloupe has spilled the oil … clean up the oil and put my dosa on plate.
7:15: Finally settle down to eat.

One of those days when a hearty meal never seemed possible !!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Numerous names of Cantaloupe

Moppet's mom wanted company in her embarassment ... boy has she found one !!!

I am always known for the nicknames I give ... be it a kid in the family, a friend, a professor etc. Some of them very appropriate (say Brainy for an intelligent friend) and some hilarious.
So when Cantaloupe was born, it was natural that I nicknamed her... but my Nickname innovations have far exceeded my own standards with Cantaloupe. She gets a nickname almost every week !!

It all started when she was born ... she was chubby, little girl and without much effort in trying to find a name, I came up with "Gundu Samosa" (gundu meaning chubby ... don't ask me why Samosa ... you will see many such silly names) ...also, by end of week 1, I had already come up with a little song ..
"Sona Masuri ... aha Gundu Samosa" ... hey "Sona Masuri ... Gundu Samosa" ...

Gosh ... this is so embarassing .....

I have addressed her anything but by her real name ... and 99% of the cases, her nicknames do not remotely sound like her real name. When I call her by her real name... it means, I am extremely angry with her and she knows!

Ok, back to nicknames ... she has been called Gopi (now, thats not too bad), Chikita, Nikita (thats a nice name. .. isn't it??), Soma, Gopala, Ghatika, (after her friend Ghatu), Soapika, Dunna, Vamana (credit to BP), Vamanos , Doreshwari, Stulambika, Shuntita .. the list is endless. I will stop embarassing myself.

The most often used of them all is Moosika / Moosamma ... (Moosu in kannada means to smell) She got that name, because she was always holding her blanket and covering her nose.
So, I came up with this song:
"Mangalarathi .... Moosu Maruthi ... hey "
The worst part, she thinks its a real song and the other day, when some friends came over to our place and asked her to sing a song, she instantly began "Mangalarathi ... " I could die of embarassment !!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Time sense

“Time and tide wait for none” … this is something I really believe in. So, if there is a party I am invited for and the time indicated is 6:30pm … it truly means 6:30pm, and I am at the party venue at 6:30pm. It embarrasses me if I am late …
But unfortunately the above importance to time is given only by me in our house. And this is the most cause of an argument between BP and me. When it is work related meetings, BP is dot on time… but he does not hold the same time regard for other matters.

Like for eg: The other day, we were supposed to go for a family outing over the weekend. The night before, BP and I were talking and he mentioned that we could leave after breakfast and spend the day at the zoo and the beach close by. So the time freak that I am, I got up early on a Saturday morning, prepared tea/ breakfast, packed snacks / juice / fruits for the picnic, cleaned the house and got dressed by 9:30am. That’s when I realize, BP has just woken from bed!! Already I was a little upset … BP then sipped his tea for an entire 30 mins (how can one do that? Isn’t tea supposed to be sipped when hot??? 30min of sipping !!) Once done with the tea, he went to the patio to water the plants. By then it was close to 10:30 … I was starting to get hungry too. (Since we get a chance to eat breakfast together only during weekends, I usually wait until all 3 of us are at the table) By noon, BP was finally ready and I was fuming … BP knew clearly why I was upset. So when he said “Relax … its just a weekend trip … the idea is to spend time together … whether we spend time at home or the zoo … how does it matter?” … I just could not take it. I mean, I could have very much relaxed and slept hugging my warm cantaloupe for longer … I needn’t had to rush all the chores … anyways, all I ended up remaining silent and gave a stern look … BP understood it all!

Come to think of it, most of my family members are pretty sensitive about it… atleast my parents are. My sister used to be, but is soon loosing out. But in BP’s family, no one really cares about the time factor. I was in for a rude shock the first time I went to their house after marriage. Dinner was served at 11:00pm !!! In my house we ate dinner at 8:30pm … sharp! Their disrespect of time really has no bounds … the other day, they had invited people over to their house. The invitation was for 4:30pm … but then nobody cared to clean up or get dressed or prepare snacks even when the clock showed 4:15 … I could not take it any more and asked them why they were just not getting ready when they said, “Invitation says 4:30, which means no one will be here before 6:30 …. Who comes at 4:30??”. I did not know what to say. Atleast BP gets ready on time when we are expecting guests, I thought.

Is it really wrong to be punctual? If we are invited to a friend’s place at a certain time, is it wrong to be there on time?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Day care story

Cantaloupe has been going to day care since she was 5 months. She has been a very accommodative child and has always enjoyed her day care stay. Infact some of her best pals are are from her day care she previously went to. Even though she gets to meet her old friends rarely, its amazing to see how they bond instantly.
But this April, I invited my parents to come over and spend some time with us. The idea was for Cantaloupe to bond with her grand parents. We extended the same invitation to BP's mother as well, but she wasn't very keen. My parents accepted the invitation after much deliberation ... afterall they could not resist the idea of spending time with their only grand daughter. Also, Cantaloupe was growing fast and we figured this was her only chance for a break from school ... she could be pampered lot by her grand parents.
So, May 2007, we stopped sending Cantaloupe to the day care. She made it so much easy on my parents by bonding with them instantly. (note: She had met them only once before ... and that for a very short span of 5 days). My parents booked their return tickets before they arrived and had informed us that they would go back in September. So we had booked the day care from September.
Cantaloupe started pre-school this week. We expected her to cling to us and throw all tantrums the first few days of her day care. Afterall she had got used to a different style ... but that was not to be. She made us proud by waving a cheerful goodbye on the first day. I cried in the car driving back home ... afterall it was the start of school for her and she would be in school for the next 20 something years on her life !! I will cherish that moment for the rest of my life... her cheerful face is stamped in my memory for ever.
The mother in me, could not wait till the end of day to pick her up. I ended up going to the pre-school quite early ... there she was ... again welcoming me with a warm hug and her best smile. The next 2 days was the same ...
But yesterday when I went to pick her up, she was being pulled to one of the corners and the teacher was saying something to her in a stern voice. Cantaloupe was sad ... her smile was missing ... her head bent ... and was ready to burst to tears. As soon as she saw me, she could no longer control her emotions and started crying profusely ... the sight of my baby crying so hard brought tears in me too, though I tried hard to control my emotions. The teacher came to me and started complaining about Cantaloupe.
She said, that Cantaloupe had not been paying attention to anything said in the class, had not helped in cleaning up the toys, had not slept well ... was very excited with other kids and had pushed them etc etc ... the teacher blabbered non stop for the next few mins. All the while, Cantaloupe kept crying. I looked at Cantaloupe and asked her to say Sorry which she did. I told the teacher I would talk to her about it.
The ride back home was very upsetting to say the least ... the teachers words were circling in my head and I didn't know what to do ... I think I was humiliated / upset / shocked all at the same time. I yelled at my baby for all the things that the teacher had pointed out :( All the while Cantaloupe kept quiet and requested to be fed something.
Its a routine for me to carry some snack when I go to pick up Cantaloupe. She is hungry and tired in the evening and is ready to eat anything that I have to offer. No fuss .. no mess time ... anything I give her she will gladly eat.
But yesterday on our drive back, I didn't give her anything to eat for quite sometime ... just kept repeating my moral lessons. Then I realised how hungry she could be and gave her the box of Mangoes and Watermelon I had carried. Cantaloupe greedily ate ...
By the time I reached home, I was more calm ... I looked into Cantaloupe's eye and this was our conversation:
Me: Why did you not sleep?
C: Because I couldn't
Me: (to myself): What would I do, if I couldn't sleep ... of course I would get up from my bed
Me: Why did not listen to the instruction the teacher told you
C: Because I already knew what she had said .. she kept saying the same things
Me:(to myself): Well ... she must learn some patience
Me: Why did you hug ABC?
C: Because she is my friend
Me: But you cannot hug her ... you have to talk to her from a distance. Did you push her?
C: She doesn't like me hugging? I didn't push her ... I was just trying to play with her !
Me:(to myself): Cantaloupe can be wild while expressing her affection ... she must learn to be gentle.

I explained to her that it was not OK to hug her friends and that she had to be patient and listen to the instructions her teacher had to give.
When I opened her lunch box, I found that he had not eaten anything ... my child was hungry and thats the reason she was perhaps restless. While the teacher noticed her restlessness, she had not noted that she was talking to a hungry child. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely some things that Cantaloupe has to learn like being more patient ... but then what would you expect from a hungry starving child?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Gifting rules

I am very upset today about the gift I received.

Parents are just back from their East Coast trip. They visited atleast 5 cousins of mine during their trip. Before they left for their trip, we had marathon shopping sessions buying gifts for everyone. One of the cousins had a baby just a week back and I was very particular about what I wanted to gift the new parents. I was sure about buying something which they would certainly use. Likewise, for all other cousins too, I handpicked items which I was certain they would use. (had got clues about their choice of items during our conversations).

My parents got back yesterday and passed on the gift the said new parents had sent for Cantaloupe. It was a Dora night dress. The material is pathetic .... the color is horrible (really wonder if any one buys such colors) .... I could go on and on ... in plain sentence, "It is an Insult in the name of gift".

I am upset. I know this cousin of mine .... she is very very particular in her clothing, items she buys for herself, home decoration etc. I lived with her for almost a year and I have seen her selections ... they are very tasteful. My mom also mentioned that she has furnished her house beautifully and has bought items from all over the globe to decorate her home. Why then did she pick that stupid night dress for my kid ? If she didn't gift me anything, it could have bothered me least. But why gift something as horrible and say "We handpicked it for Cantaloupe" ... handpicked... ?????????

Here is something I would like to establish about gifting (I know the said cousin is not reading my blog)
  1. Do NOT gift anyone unless you really want to. Just don't gift something for the purpose of it and to show off with others that you have gifted.
  2. Gift something that you would use if someone gifted the same item to you. (I would not even donate things to unaffordable people, the items / clothes are in good condition. The reason I may be donating would be that I no longer use those items)

Better NOT gifting, than gifting crappy items and insulting the receiver.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cycling queen

One of my most priced possession has been my BSA SLR ... MY bicycle !! I learnt cycling during summer vacation before I entered 5th grade. My parents allowed me to bicycle to school which was a good 5 kms from our house since my 5th grade. I learnt a lot of tricks on my bicycle and mastered the art of manouvering it admist traffic. I proudly bicycled the next 8 hrs till I entered Engineering.... which is when I was gifted my "Scooty".

Anyways, this blog is not about my bicycle ... its about Cantaloupes' bicycling. We bought a bicycle to her on her 2nd birthday. When we bought it, we knew it was a size bigger than her tiny legs could handle. Initial few months, she dismissed the idea of even sitting on it ... much to our disappointment. We reasoned, it could be her uncomfortable feeling on hanging her legs in the air. But soon, her legs were able to touch the peddle ... but she continued to resist sitting on it. That's when BP realised that his daughter needed a good amount of encouragement before she would start bicycling. By then she had turned 2.5 yrs .... May be it was coincidence ... but most other kids around us seem to cycle comfortably and we were left guessing what age the child might have began cycling.
BP then claimed (it was almost that I challenged) that he would ensure Cantaloupe was cycling by her 3rd birthday. The initial few weeks were difficult with Cantaloupe refusing to even come anywhere close to the bicycle ... we just couldn't understand what her fears were. Gradually, she started liking the idea of just sitting on it with her legs on the peddle, while her parents pushed it. It was our evening routine to go for a walk like this for almost couple of months. Then I changed my projects and could not get time to go on these walks because of work ... BP and cantaloupe though continued this routine.
One fine day, BP and Cantaloupe surprised me, when I saw my little daughter bicycling on her own. I felt so proud of her ... I know most kids can bicycle ... it may not be a big deal ... but for me it was afterall my daughter ... all thoughts of my association with my BSA SLR kicked in and a tear escaped from my eyes !
These days Cantaloupe loves the time she spends on her bicycle ... infact she eagerly waits for her dad to take her out for cycling. She goes out on his, while she on hers ... I have another bike too ... we are planning to go on a cycling picnic soon, with all three on our bikes ! That sure sounds fun to me :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Mother -Daughter Evening Routine ...

Our evenings are pretty much the same everyday ... Cantaloupe keeps looking forward to this part of the day when she is only point of attention ... well wait since my parents are visiting us now, she has been getting constant attention through out the day. Anyways, I get a warm reception these days when I come back from work.
Cantaloupe is neatly dressed, is all cheerful and in her best mood. She tells me, she has been waiting for her mommy... thats me... and guess why?? We read together atleast 5 books continously. Yes ... I am not even allowed to change and refresh ... the moment I enter the house, Cantaloupe brings the chosen set of books for the day... drags me to the recliner and sits besides me and demands I read the book. One look at her, and she immediately gives me a warm hug and I melt down immediately. I forget my tiredness and I am ready to spend time with my daughter. Of course, my parents get worried about their daughter not getting a moment of rest ... but thats a different story.
Our reading is as dramatic as I can imagine ... with hand movements, jumps, running around, voice modulations etc... its actually quite an entertainment to my parents as well. Of course, they get to see their daughter playing a mommy ... which they sometimes find it hard to believe even now.
By the time I am done reading the first 2 books, my mom brings me fresh snacks / fruits every day. Even with her back problems, she ensures that she prepares my favourite snacks almost daily. Yum Yum .... Cantaloupe and I share the evening snacks.
Now, we are energised enough to dance to some foot tapping numbers. Sometimes, I have to take evening conference calls and she is not happy at all. We have found a way out ... the evenings I have conference calls, my parents take her out for an evening stroll. By the time they come back from their evening walk, I am done with the call. And daughter and I are ready for some more time ... this time its either a project with Foam stickers or a painting project or some singing or revision of her alphabets or reading books again or story telling.
One thing I know for sure is, we have made a nice routine and both enjoy our evenings ... make the most of it !!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Yours truly is judgemental

Taking up the Tag from Poppins

I judge people who proudly announce the hours spent at work. Since when did the quantity of time decide quality of work? Also staying long hours in office does not mean, a lot of work got done.
I judge people who cannot appreciate good food. Anyone who says, taste does not matter to them is basically dieting. (that’s’ my opinion)
I judge people who put on lots of make up. Makes me think that they have bad features they are trying hard to hide.
I judge people who cannot appreciate music. Don’t like a particular kind of music … I can understand that … don’t like music … now how can you not???
I judge parents who are loud.
I judge parents who smoke / drink alcohol in the presence of kids.
I judge people who don’t like their family.
I judge people who are unclean / unkempt.
I judge people who defend their choice all time. I mean discussing about it once in a while, I have no problem … but having to mention their choice all the time, sorry
I judge people who don’t like their home town.

My points above may seem irrational … but hey, this post is about being judgmental… be it good or bad!

Somewhere over the rainbow ...

I have always looked forward to Cantaloupe's birthday party. This year was no exception. The party preparations started about 3 weeks back ... when I say preparations, it means, narrowing the guest list. This time, it was not as hard as it normally is. Narrowing the list was easy, but narrowing the evite invitation proved much harder. If the foreground color suited me, the background was not going with it ... when these two matched the main image would be a sore thumb. After about 3 days of exhaustive searches, finally decided on a template.
My sister helped me with this ... thank you very much ! The evite was sent out and within the first 2 days, there was no more "Declined responses" and hardly any "accepted responses". I began to doubt if we had to reconsider the party date. I called a couple of friends, to be told that they had been considering other plans for that particular saturday, but were yet to make a decision. I was nervous if the guests would make it or not ... after all the party was for Cantaloupe and if her friends did not come, that would be no good for her. Besides, the idea of having the party in the park was for the kids to have fun. My parents volunteered to cook for the guests ... I tried to persuade them to not stress themselves too hard ... but they were firm. The idea of owning a major responsibility of their only grand daughter's birthday party, seem to brighten their spirits. After much debate the menu was decided .... Samosas, Sprouted beans salad, Kadamba (rice item), Raita, curd rice, Mysore Pak (sweet), Chips, Fruits (watermelon and pine apple), cucumber salad and of course some cool juice to beat the sun.

I was sure the party would have a theme ... the decision was made that it was going to be a "RainBow" party. Now, we had to come up with games, decorations, cutlery etc to reflect the theme.
Some of things we did were in accordance to the theme:
1. Painted huge rainbows on banners and worded them appropriately. Actually we modified the "Wizard of Oz" song to suit our theme. But it was perfect for our setting. We tied these to all the trees around the park picnic area.

2. My dad made cute miniature rainbows with card board and we used it as table decoration.

3. Our cutlery was color co-ordinated. The plates were green, cake cups were red, paper napkins were deep yellow, spoons were violet, the table cloth was pale yellow. We arranged it in the form of a semi circular, and it certainly went with our theme.

4. Balloons in all colors of the rainbow were tied to the picnic area.

5. We made "Thank You" cards of foam in all colors. Decorated them with little star sparklers. These cards were given to the kids during the party along with foam stickers, so they could decorate their own cards. The excitement in making their own little projects was so evident ... a lot of parents were thrilled to see their excited kids and appreciated this idea of ours.

6. For the return gifts, instead of the regular bags, I opted for colored boxes. The colored boxed when arranged on the table looked so cute to say the least.

7. I bought 7 little plastic boxes in all colors of the rainbow, filled it up with candies and hid them. The parents and kids had fun galore looking for these "Treasures". I was myself surprised with the clues I had come up with for the treasure hunt.

8. Since the party was going to be in the park, we purchased Visors, instead of the regular birthday caps. Again, the visors were carefully chosen to reflect the colors of the rainbow.

9. Of course, it was a "Rainbow" cake... rather a strawberry cake with Rainbow icing.

10. The best idea (according to me) was the welcome necklace the kids good. We had made fruit loop necklaces with a Candy serving as "Pendant". The colored fruit loops sure went with our theme, and kids snacked on it as they played along in the swings / slides etc

At the end of the party, I felt so satisfied and Cantaloupe was thrilled to bits.

Indian writings

It is a tag season for sure … everyone seems to be writing on some tag or the other.
I dreaded taking up one tag though … but Noon has tagged me and I don’t want to play spoil sport …

To begin with I’d like to admit that I am not a books person … there, I said it … I haven’t read as many books as many of the others have and my choice of literature may appear very different from many others … but hey I enjoy it and it doesn’t bother me if others don’t like my choice.

1. My top pick is undoubtedly Vishnusharma’s “Panchatantra”. The simple stories with intriguing morals never fail to amaze me. What a brilliant writer Vishnusharma had to be to convey morals baring age groups with such simple stories … truly amazing.

2. One of my other favorite books have to be “Amar Chitra Katha” series … I got introduced to these at a tender age and ever since I just got hooked. For some time I had changed loyaltied to Tinkle … but nothing to beat Amar chitra Katha

3. R K Narayan: Whether it is swamy and his friends, The talkative man or The English teacher … all of them one thing in common: relatable characters, simple language and attention to detail. Is there anyone who doesn’t like his writing. (on a side note: Shankar Nag’s Malgudi days on Doordarshan was a masterpiece too … )

4. Matadana by S L Byrappa: One complicated story told in the most fascinating matter. There are several other novels by Byrappa which strike a chord … but Matadana stands out among them all.

5. Dashakumaracharita by Dandi : OK this one, I have really not read all the stories … but the ones I have are truly a delight. The nuances of grammer, the humor, the style … Sanskrit is pure magic.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Embarrassing incidents

Incident 1: This happened sometime back when Cantaloupe was about 18 months. We were traveling from Florida to California. Being less than 2 years, she did not require a ticket to be purchased. So she was switching between mine and BP’s laps. I sat by the window and BP had the middle seat and a young American male in his early twenties sat beside BP. Cantaloupe’s constant “Why’s / How’s/ where’s” had irritated this guy quite a bit … he had hoped to catch on some sleep which was not going to happen so easily. Book reading, Barney viewing on laptop was all done in the first 2 hrs of our flight and we still had 3 more hours to fly. Just then Cantaloupe pointed to this guy’s arms and said “Why has he scribbled all over his arms?” BP and I looked at the person’s arms and indeed it was tattooed all over … we tried hard to control our laughter. But our co-passenger had got the message.

Incident 2: This is a more recent incident. Cantaloupe has a new fascination … as soon as she sees a baby, she has to guess if it is a boy or a girl. It started out with babies and has extended to everyone. One of the differentiating factors we have told her is “Girls have pierced ears while boys don’t”. I know these days, the ear piercing thing is definitely not a differentiating factor … but we still like to live in the olden days and hey, it’s a convenient explanation to Cantaloupe. We had few guests home and one of them had his ears pierced. Cantaloupe innocently asked “He is a boy … why has he got his ears pierced?”

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Distant engagement ....

Wow … so many of you have interesting stories to share about your engagement … I read Moppets, Poppins and Pixie
Mine sure is a rare story of sorts …

I was working in an IT company in India soon after graduating. I lived with my uncle’s family during that period. One bright morning, my uncle walked to me casually and said “RP would call / email me in the next 2-3 days and I talk to him”. I knew that my parents were on the look out for a suitable match for me, though I had no intensions of settling on Marital bliss. I didn’t say anything to my uncle. The first thing I wanted to do was call my parents and tell them, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I reached office and almost forgot about this call and got deeply involved in some work. Around lunch time, I got an email from BP … now wait a minute … didn’t my uncle mention about someone RP who would contact me this morning … but this email was from BP … who was this person ! I was confused … I called up my mom immediately and told her about this mail. She said the person’s name was indeed BP and not RP and insisted I reply back. Though very hesitant, I replied back … you know the general “Hello … “ kinda email. Within secs I got another mail from BP asking for my phone number. I replied him back with my number. In less than a min, my phone rang and I was talking to BP. I swear I had never felt as comfortable talking to a stranger. People who know me vouch for the fact that, I take my time before I open up to strangers … but this time, I was completely shocked myself. Our first phone conversation lasted for about 45 mins and we talked about our hobbies, our family etc. Before he disconnected, BP took my parent’s number. After sometime, I got a call from my mom saying BP had called her … but she was too shy to talk to him and could just manage to give my father’s office number and not say anything much. Of course, BP had called my father and talked to him. I truly appreciated his sensitive gesture. This happened Sep 7th 2000. I can never forget this Thursday!! BP called me on Friday around noon and we continued to talk. He then mentioned that I meet his parents over the weekend.
So my family met his family on Saturday and instantly “approved” me as their son’s bride J I couldn’t believe the pace at which the events were unfolding … my parents were to visit BP’s house in order to fix an auspicious date for the marriage. As is the custom, I was not going with them for the discussion, so I decided to come to office … hoping that BP would call me J I met Poppins on the office bus, who was by then a regular at coming to office over the weekends and shared the news with her.
All I remember I did for the next few days was to come to office and eagerly open my mail box expecting to see something from BP, wait for his phone call around 11:00 and talk endlessly. Get back home dreaming about wonderful things … hey … did I mention, BP was in the US at this time J

We had a traditional engagement, a month later…. How much I missed him that day! (for those who are laughing their hearts out about the engagement without the guy … I am told that in the olden days, the groom was never part of the traditional hindu engagement ceremony. It was a ritual performed to decide the date of the wedding in the presence of a large gathering… some sort of assurance I’d like to believe, that the groom and bride to be were committed) As the wedding day got closer, the discussions grew deeper … and finally the day arrived ! I was going to meet BP for the first time in my life … and hold your breadth, we were getting married after 5 days

As luck would have it, his flight got delayed and the wait at the airport seemed endless … and finally he arrived ! I have never heard my heart beat faster … and there he was, my darling BP, just the way I had imagined him to be. (we had exchanged only 2 photographs of ours so far) It took me less than a minute to spot him in the airport amidst all the crowd. But it was a wonderful experience !
We got married 5 days later and have been enjoying marital bliss since … even today, when I think back what prompted me to answer back his first email … I have no answer. But hey, I have no complaints that I did answer !!!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Two weeks back we were invited to our neighbour’s house for a house warming gathering. They had bought the house couple of months back and have settled in the place for about 4 months now. So, when they said, house warming, I was a little surprised. May be they wanted to settle down before they had friends over and this was their way of sharing their happiness with friends … even though a little late.
I had to mention that they had settled 4 months back, because they have a daughter almost a year older than Cantaloupe. Cantaloupe has always enjoyed playing with older kids. I thought the neighbors’ kid “S” would be a good playmate for her. I have had them a couple of times at my house... and I can have a decent conversation with S parents … Cantaloupe is comfortable playing with S without much parent involvement.
OK, back to the house warming story. We were invited to be there by around 11:00am. So we went there around the same time. The host couple were busy doing the “Sathyanarayan Pooja”. There were around 7-8 adults in the living room. ( we did not know any of them). We settled down in one of the corners … Cantaloupes’ little eyes started looking for S. After about 15min, she asked where S was. She had been asking about S ever since morning and we had told her that she could play with her when we went to their house. Kids were running in and out of a room and we figured S might be in the room with other kids. So we encourage Cantaloupe to go to the room by herself and play with S. Though hesitant initially, Cantaloupe couldn’t much resist the idea of playing with other kids and went to the room. BP and I were glad she was learning to make friends by herself. After about 10mins, Cantaloupe came running back to us and said “S says, she does not want to play with me”. I was very angry to hear that … how dare S not play with my daughter who is such a lovely kid. But I knew that S was a kid too …. So I encouraged Cantaloupe to go in and say she wanted to be part of the group. Cantaloupe accordingly went inside again, only to come out within 5 mins, saying “S does not want me inside”. This time, S came out of the room and announced “I don’t want to play with you Cantaloupe!!!” Cantaloupe was perhaps hurt by S’s reaction. But BP and I soon diverted her attention to some other kid, who had by then settled beside us. This kid was more friendly and Cantaloupe was busy playing with her most of the time we were at the neighbor’s place.

Yesterday, we were driving out of our garage when S and her mom were walking out of their garage. Cantaloupe promptly shouted “Hi S” from the car. S yelled back “Hi Cantaloupe” … “You want to play with me?”. Cantaloupe responded “I am going out with appa and amma… we can play once I am back”. As we drove off from our apartment complex, Cantaloupe asked “S wants to play with me today?” BP and I said together “Of course dear, she wants to… you can play once we are back” Cantaloupe asks back “She wants to play with me because she does not have any of her other friends?”

BP and I were too shocked to hear that … I managed to say “No dear, she will play with you even when other kids are around.” Cantaloupe did not ask any further questions ….

Thursday, July 5, 2007


So I finally had enough of it and decided to take the escalation route.
I was brought into this re-engineering project because of my previous experience in this area and the situation demanded more experienced people to lead the project. From my past experience, I know that one has to clearly understand the expection set, before starting on a new assignment. So until, I got a satisfactory understanding of my responsibilities, I did not start on the assignment.
The project is indeed very interesting ... no second thoughts on that. I love working in the phase that the project is in ...
The first few days into the project got me by surprise ... I was being treated as merely any other person with minimal experience. The so called Manager (NG) had designated himself the role of the leader and made decisions according to his whims and fancies. It was getting very frustrating, by each passing day. I was in two minds if I was going to discuss the matter with him or should I raise my concerns to higher management. After some thinking, I decided to talk to higher management, since I wasn't sure what impression he had given of me to the senior management. (RS)

So I finally had a talk with my senior manager today. He was surprised to know of the role I was playing. (I am not sure if this guy was faking or was truly ignorant of the situation) We couldn't complete our discussion because he had to run for another meeting. (oh yeah.... as if I didn't figure it was his way of buying time to discuss with NG). Whatever that be ... we plan to continue our discussion tomorrow.

Wonder how NG is going to interact with me tomorrow in the office !

Sunday, July 1, 2007


I can't remember since when Cantaloupe wants to become a doctor. I don't recall "One event" which made an impact on her tiny brain to trigger this ... but all I know is if she is busy playing by herself, she is most likely to be treating her patients ... "Ghatu" being her primary patient. She is either checking on his pulse or heart beat ... and in all probabilities will call for "5 Shots" (injection)
My parents have taken this interest of hers a step further. They have educated her about some of the specializations that the medical field has to offer. She has generously given out family members the titles. So in her eyes, presenting to you, our family specialists list:
  • Cadiologist: Cantaloupe
  • Opthamologist: My mom
  • Dentist: My dad
  • Dermatologist: My sister
  • Orthopedic: BP or sometimes she herself
  • Neurologist: My BIL

Surprised that I don't feature in the list .... well, I was too. And then I asked, what about amma ... what is she? Pat came the answer, she is my assistant ... she is "NURSE" :)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Cantaloupe's interpretation of bollywood

Well, like I mentioned earlier, I don't watch TV as much and Cantaloupe is allowed to watch only the carefully chosen rentals from the Public library.
Anyways, today was one of those rare days, I wanted to watch some bollywood songs in Cantaloupe's presence. I had burnt these songs into a DVD long time back and it had been close to 2 years since I had ever watched it. Here is how the whole episode went.
  • First song: Mujhe Rang De , rang de (Takshak):

Her question: Why isn't uncle wearing any shirt (the side dancers who didn't have shirt on) ...

Me: (Bad song to play) ... next song played

Song: (Duplicate): Mere Mehboob mere sanam

Cantaloupe: Why isn't aunty wearing saree (pointing to Sonali's clothing)

Me: ooops .... next song

Song: Pyar dilon ka mela hai

Cantaloupe : Where is her dress ? Why isn't she covered (Karisma is wearing a strapless top and some weird clothing)

Me : OK .. next song

Song: Nimuda Nimuda (Hum Dil de chuke sanam)

Cantaloupe : Why is aunty churning her stomach like that ?(annoying Aishwarya's dance)

Me : (Is there any song I see without being questioned ?)

Song: Chuk Dum Dum

Cantaloupe: Nice song .... why do they need to sing in the rain ?

Me : You sing Rain, rain go away and Twinkle Twinkle and the like .... they sing this song.

I don't wait for long and move on to next song ... infact I change the DVD

Song: Bumbaro, bumbaro (mission Kashmir)

Me: (finally one of her favourite songs .... she has listened to this song couple of times)

Cantaloupe: (after watching the video for a few secs) : Why is aunty's palm dirty ?

Me: Oh dear ... this is called Mehendi ...

Cantaloupe : Its ok to have mehendi ?

Me: Yes ....

(finally there is one song I can watch with her without answering embarassing questions)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cantaloupes' comfort zone

Like any other kid, Cantaloupe has her favourites. One of her most priced possessions is a toy looking like Alien ... she has named "Ghatu" ... after Ghatotkacha from Mahabharat. I still remember the day she got this toy as a present on her birthday ... I laughed my heart out at the awful selection of gift. This toy makes a strange noise in a nasal accent which goes something like "booooooooobaaaaaaaaaaaa" ... very annoying I thought the first time I saw it. Somehow BP felt that it would rank up high in Cantaloupe's favourites list. Sure it did ...
Ghatu has been her best pal, her brother at times, her patient (when she pretends to be the doctor), her student (when she is the teacher). Infact, I have heard her say things to Ghatu ... the same things, that BP and I tell her. During her potty training days, we were forced to get a potty for Ghatu, we have a stroller as well for him, not to mention, his own blanket, bed, plate etc. He is almost like the 4th member of our family ... only he is a toy.
Cantaloupe checks on him every once in a while just to make sure, things are ok with him. She just adores him.
I wouldn't give up Ghatu for anything, but for her favourite pink Blankey. (these days she just says Blank). Her blanket tops the list of her favourite items. She has a hard time sleeping without her blank. Note, she doesn't cover her body with the blank when she is sleeping, she just holds it close to her chest.

Here is a coversation I had with her a couple of days back:
Me: Want Thomas or Dora ?
Cantaloupe (C) : hmmmmm Thomas
Me: Want Pinky or Thomas?
C: Pinky
Me: Want Pinky or Ghatu ?
C : Ghatu (in a tone, as if it isn't an obvious choice)
Me: Want Ghatu or Blank ?
C : Blannnnkuuuuuuuuuuuuuu (rushes to get her blanku)
Me: (to myself) Blanku or amma ?
I don't want to know .....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ouch ... that hurts ... well most times

Cantaloupe enjoys cuddling with me. We hug eachother for little things and everytime I get a warm hug from her, I am so excited. It makes me marvel at the little wonder BP and I have created.
Yesterday, we were playing "Snakes and Ladders" the board game ... well we weren't playing really... I was trying to explain her the game. After a few mins, she wasn't really paying much attention to what I was saying and was challenging me to catch her. This running marathon in the name of catching each other happens every day in our house. Like anyother day, I began chasing her and she tried to escape from my reach. After about 10mins of continuous running, I got tired and lay on the couch for a rest. Cantaloupe, not far ahead of me ...ran towards me, jumped on me. She gave her warm hug and kissed me almost to say thanks for this bout of running... ready for the next ? I kissed her back ... said some encouraging words of how fast she runs ... thats when she started kissing me again and again ... and ouch .... she bit me. In her over enthusiam, she never realised she was going to cause me pain ...
But hey ... I didn't mind it at all :)

ps: Cantaloupe never bites anyone intentionally .... she just got carried away in yesterday's episode.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


One of our good friends had their second baby over weekend. A healthy baby girl ! Little one weighed over 8 pounds at birth. Congrats N and R !You guys are fabulous parents ... enjoy your little bundle of joy. I had been wanting to have these friends over for dinner at our place, before she gave birth ... but that had not been possible. I was waiting for her parents to come from India, so I could invite all of them over. Her parents were scheduled to come from India on the 9th. She was due to give birth on 25th June. BP and I had decided that this week, we would invite them. But before I could execute my plan, the little one decided to arrive. Infact that came as a surprise to me ... coz hers was a scheduled C-section. She had almost given up any hope on a Normal delivery. But "He" had a different idea. She started having contractions on saturday. When she went to the hospital, the doctor convinced them to go for Normal delivery. After about 6 hours of labor pain, the little was born ! My friend was discharged from the hospital the next day. According to her, the difference in her energy level when she delivered via C-section and this time is huge.
Anyways ... I am really very happy for you dear ... wishing your family all the very best !!Take care !

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Kid DVDs and Videos

OK, the title of the post may suggest some discussion about whether to allow TV watching or not ... no this post is not for the same. BP and I believe in minimal TV time. Infact we do not have cable connection at home. Our Television set is used to play only the DVD and Videos that Cantaloupe is allowed to watch and occasionally some movie that BP and I watch.
Anyways, this post is list the chronological order of the characters that Cantaloupe was introduced to.
  1. Baby Einstein: Animal Planet. : She was introduced to this when she was close to 11 months. Its a very educational video and I'd perhaps recommend it to other parents. She continues watching this DVD until, the purple Dino was introduced.
  2. Barney Series : Boy... was she hooked to this series or what ? She was allowed to watch her first Barney video when she was about 18months. At first I failed to understand what was so unique in the video that attracted an 18month old. The "I love you, you love me, we are happy family song" had begun to haunt me in my dreams and I was hoping she switched to other videos. But I had no success until, she saw the little Hispanic girl and her monkey friend.
  3. The reason perhaps she liked Dora was because we had begun reading Dora stories for a while and she was quite familiar with all the characters. She still watches it occasionally. I would never recommend this one .... somehow I feel, the characters just scream their way through the video and there is very little learning.
  4. There was a small phase when we liked "Thomas and his friends series". She still watches these videos ... but they are not her favourite.
  5. Her latest fascination is "Simba" the "Lion King" and "Jungle Book".

Not sure when she will switch loyalties from Simba to other fictional characters.

Reserve bank

"You live in the US and are minting money" .... I am tired of hearing this from family members both near and distant living in India. Why this assumption ?? Don't we have expenses in the US ? Does a legal stay in the US guarantee us of all our basic necessicities with any expense from our end ? I fail to understand ... Initially I reasoned out saying we had expenses as well just like anyone staying in any part of the world and were no where close to minting money. But I realised that I didn't have to reason myself with everyone. And well, inspite of having all the expenses if I am able to save myself a decent money, so be it.
Some of us live in the US not for the money. Is it hard for anyone to accept that ? We like our jobs, the kinda exposure it is giving us, we are enjoying our independance ... there many other things that we enjoy in our current set up. One thing we miss though is family and that may be the only reason we might want to relocate back to India. (if at all)
So people don't talk assume about our financial status and do not assume we are staying here for the money. But hey if you do assume things ... thats your problem ... I am not going to clear your thoughts anymore.

ps: I just wanted to vent out ... the flow of thoughts may be random

Friday, June 8, 2007

Imagination galore

Cantaloupe is not a person who will just follow your instructions without questioning ... any instruction to her is always followed by "Why / why not ?"
Ever wondered how soon the kids relate to the story being told ... well Cantaloupe started to understand and relate to stories quite early. BP and I always make sure we emphasise the "Moral" of the story. Now, we are not Moral teachers preaching her the "Moral lessons" every day in a boring fashion. We have developed this innovative skill where we try to incorporate simple things like not jumping on bed / sofa, value of fruits and vegetables, sharing with friends, doing one's own bed etc.
Let me explain ... "Simba" is her role model these days. (earlier it was Barney, then Dora). So almost all stories will feature Simba. In her eyes, "Simba" represents herself. Simba's parents are her parent, so Mufasa will be BP and so on. When we encounter situations which require us to give her some lessons, we start the Simba story. For example, my parents who are visiting us have gifted us with this wonderful drapery set. (thank you, thank you , thank you ! A very much well thought gift ... our house looks even more charming now). Anyways, so to ensure, she doesn't pull it from the rods, we start the Simba story. Here is how the story goes:
"Once, Simba's grandparents gifted a beautiful drapery set. Mufasa instructed Simba to not pull it and warned that he could hurt himself in the process. But Simba did not pay attention to his dad and pulled the drapes ... and down it came along with the rod and fell on Simba's head. Simba was deeply hurt and Mufasa was disappointed that Simba has not paid attention to his words. Now Cantaloupe, do you want to pull the drapes ??? You must follow your parents words... right?"
You get the idea ... right ? After the story narration I have not seen her pulling the drapes. Of course she forgets at times ... thats when we parents pitch in and remind her of it again.
So far these moral lessons are working just fine for us.
The truth is we had never realised about our Imagination potential ... this practise has helped us realise the same ... it has also helped in making Cantaloupe realise simple things!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Brushing ... what a big deal !

Cantaloupe has always been a "light sleeper" (called so for the lack of better word). When she was a little baby, and the doctor suggested infants slept for 14-16hrs a day, my little girl slept for 12hrs max and mind you not at one stretch.... when the doc suggested 12-14hrs, she slept for 11hrs. As she grows, her sleep time seem to go down and by around 12 months, she was close to 9 hrs of sleep in a day.
9 hrs of sleep would have been nice, if that was her night time sleeping hours ... but no. She uses up 2 hrs for her afternoon siesta which means she hardly sleeps in the night. She is all fresh and energetic when her dad and mom are ready to hit the bed. Its such a big deal to put her to bed. Sometimes, by the time she falls asleep, it is close to 11:00pm. Now, one would wonder, why we put her to sleep in the afternoon ... its not us, but her caretakers (earlier her day care folks, now my parents) when we are off to work. I could request my parents to not put her to bed in the afternoon ... but she gets tired and crancy by evening and is seen with so little enthusiam by the time, we are back from office, it hurts ... and it hurts real bad. Besides, I know she needs rest during the day. So yes, like all other sacrifices, we sacrifice our sleep. (I have to get up by 5:30am to get to work)
Anyways, she is up most days by 6:15 - 6:30am in the morning... and there begins our first challenage of the day... to get her to brush her teeth. On miracle days, she shows no resistance and it happens without even the other parent getting to know about it. But on most days,my entire neighbourhood would probably know about it ... but thanks to the sound proof walls, neighbours still manage to greet us. Anyways, it takes a lot of patience to get her done with the brushing activity. She just doesn't give in and we don't either until we are satisfied... strike that, until we see a few rounds around the teeth. Its not a fun way to start a morning... but then do we have a choice ???

Friday, June 1, 2007

8 things about my little one ...

Trying to list 8 things about Cantaloupe. Let me try ...

1. Her favourite fruit is "Cantaloupe" (now you know the reason of my blog name)

2. She has a good sense of rhythm ... have observed her clapping rhythmically to both Carnatic classical , nursery rhymes etc. Keep it up my child !

3. Her current favourite fictional / cartoon / child character is "Simba" from Lion King, closely followed by Rajan and Mogli from Jungle book.

4. She refuses to clip her hair ... I lose hairpins everyday.

5. She is great entertainer... has very good social skills. (surprised ... neither me nor BP are very good at it... though I have improved a lot these days)

6. Can speak my mother tongue and English fluently.

7. Enjoys the beaches ... can spend hours together at the beach.

8. Never poses to the camera ...

I would like to know about your kids ... tagging poppins, KT's mom ... and any other mommy visiting my blog.

My first tag - 8 things about myself

Ok ... I just tagged myself from here since I am fairly new to the blogging world.
Here you go ... (ok, I didn't stop at 8)

1. I had always dreamed of having my wedding in a temple, in the presence of my parents and my grooms' parents. Max of 10 people witnessing my wedding. But ended up having a huge hindu wedding for 3 days. I still feel it was unnecessary.

2. I fear giving up my job. I don't do it for the money(touchwood, BP is a great provider) ... but I want to be financially independant. Some day I hope to give up my job and be comfortable staying at home raising my kid.

3. I hate make up ... if you find me with lipstick and kajal, consider I am all dressed up. I never put on make up to work.

4. I hate watching movies at the theatre. I enjoy them in my living room :)

5. I am very particular about food. Taste matters to me and I just cannot eat anything and everything. I have been raised not eating mushrooms and olives and I still refuse to eat it. And yes, I am a Vegetarian !

6. I am very slim and I hardly excercise. Its just in my genes. My paternal grandpa was slim all through and I seem to have got his genes. After Cantaloupes' birth, I have a pouch .. I miss my perfect flat tummy. Nobody else seems to notice my little pouch though.

7. I sing Carnatic classical music (alas, I have not been practising these days) and have learnt Bharatnatyam.

8. I cannot swim. My parents tried to get me enrolled for swim classes when I was 11years ... I refused to go to the classes, because I had to wear the "Swim suit". I still do not wear the swim suit. It has taken a lot of effort from BP to get me into swim shorts and T -shirt.

9. I love the beaches ... I can spend long hours simply looking at the waves.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The day she refused to walk

It was a long week. 3 days were gone in attending the graduation ceremony, hosting a surprise party, attending a pooja and a birthday party. A lot of socialising so to say the least ... met atleast 60 odd people. So, the final day of our long weekend, we wanted to go "Cherry picking". BP's allergies had bothered him a lot the previous night. So, postponed visiting the farms and headed towards the beach.
It was sunny and a nice bright day when we left home. Cantaloupe and I promptly fell asleep for most part of the drive. (the beach is about an hours'drive from our house) We took route 1, beside the Pacific ocean. The wind and the grey clounds were hanging above the ocean, promising to ruin our sunny day. We parked our car in a nice quite place, and were greeted by the chilly winds as soon as we stepped out of our car. We wasted no time in putting on our jackets. Headed to the sand and spread out our tent. Cantaloupe was as excited as she ever has been everytime we are at the beach. She soon found her castle making tools and headed in the direction of the wet sand. In no time, she was busy with her grand parents building her sand castles. In between castle making, BP would take her to the water and dip her legs in the cold pacific ocean. She didn't mind that, but was too busy instructing her grandparents the layout of her castle. In between, she would check on me. BP and I took advantage of the time we had and played with a beach ball. Cantaloupe didn't show any resistance when offered lunch and finished it without a hint of tantrums. As soon as she finished her lunch, she went back to her castle making self.
It was almost 6:00pm when we reached back home. I was clearing our picnic basket, BP was making tea and Cantaloupe was playing with her toys. She asked for some juice. I poured the juice in a cup and gave it to her. She drank it and wanted to put the cup into the sink for washing. Thats when she must have realised that she just couldn't walk ... forget walking, she just couldn't stand up. Initially I ignored her thinking, she was too lazy to walk up to the sink and was making excuses. When she repeated it a couple of times, I was sure she wasn't faking. I didn't know what to do, but still maintained a calm and bold face. (didn't want to psyche her). BP and I gave her several massages, tried to divert her attention ... she was her playful self but complained of pain when asked to stand , walk.
I searched the net about similar experiences ... sometimes being ignorant is bliss. Anyways, one of our family doctors came over to examine her. The doctor assured us that there was no cause of worry. The pain was all a result of exposure to cold and muscle stress. I just couldn't sleep that night. First thing in the moring, took an appointment with her doctor. The pediatrician took a close look at her leg and ruled out anything bad. Its a different thing that Cantaloupe had been walking / running / jumping all along since morning :)

Mother daughter bonding

Cantaloupe is growing fast. Her dictionary is expanding by the minute. Its as if she said "amma amma amma" only yesterday. I still remember those days ... she was a darling with just 4 teeth and grinning all the time. (you know the baby talk .. they repeat everything like papapapa, dadadada, tatata etc)
2 days back, I was annoyed about something very inconsequestial. Didn't want to create a scene in front of Cantaloupe coz I know she is observing / learning. So I sank myself on the rocking chair and was staring outside quietly at the blue sky. She was playing in the same room with her toys. One would think she didn't observe her mom's presence or her mood ... nop, my cantaloupe is not that kind.
She came to me, gave me a warm hug, turned my face towards her and lovingly asked "Amma ... whats the problem? Are you sad ?" I was spellbound. My little angel is growing so fast and is concerned about me. I pray the bonding between us remains intact and grows with time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Flooded House

It was 10:30pm ... we had just finished a nice dinner and cantaloupe and I were happily popping cherries from fresh farm. I love red juicy cherries especially from this time of the year. Had never tasted them when in India except in some cakes ... never the fresh / ripe ones. I was in my pleasure land when a sudden yelling of my name brought me to reality.
BP had been calling me out a couple of times ... but I was not to be bothered. I found BP soaking wet in our bathroom ... the bath tub tab was broken and the water was gushing out of the pipe. BP was trying hard to stop it ... but that was not to be. The scene was hilarious in a way ...I controlled my laughter / anxiety for a moment and decided to call 911
BP reminded me that I could use the emergency water repair facility and that 911 was not the order at the time ... he tried to hide his sarcasm as much possible. Stupid me, I cursed myself, browsed the net and called a plumbing service. It was close to 10:45pm and they asked me details of the damage. As soon as I said that the water was not overflowing from the tub, the person on the other end, felt it was no longer and emergency and offered to send a plumber early next day morning.
The constant questioning of the system from various people around (sister, BIL, mother, father, friend, cantaloupe) was just adding to my already nervous self. I managed to find another plumbing agency who was ready to send their personnel home. Phew ...that was an achivement I thought. A flooded carpetted house was not going to be an easy place to live in. By then BP had spotted the water pipe with the help of our neighbour and had turned it off ... so the leak was temporarily stopped.
BP assured me that we were going to be ok till the next morning and I wouldn't have to fret about being a non-swimmer :) I was glad we had temporarily put off the floods and was about to catch up on some pending office work. Just when I turned on the laptop to continue work, vision of the emergency services bill poped my mind. I wasn't going to pay huge amounts for just a tap repair. I was determined to reach the emergency services again ... thankfully was successfull. I explained the situation to them and they agreed not to come. Phew ... saved atleast $500 :)
Now BP believes in "Do it Yourself" phrase to the core. Now, he has sworn, he will fix the tap ... its been almost 12 hours since the damage ... it remains to be seen, if he will indeed have success in fixing it or we have to shed few dollars ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Welcome aboard Cantaloupe's amma ...

I have been wanting to blog about my cutie's progress and other relevant (??) details about myself ... but it took longer than expected ....
Anyways ... I am finally here and vow to contribute to this blog regularly !

Here is to myself .... goodluck and happy blogging CA (Cantaloupe's Amma)

My circle of life with BP, Cantaloupe and Junior and much more | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL