It’s December and yet another Kutcheri season!!!

Chennai is very special to many people, whether they were born here or they have come here for a visit. Chennai’s December Season is very popular that people from other parts of the country, as well as the world, come here and stay and attend concerts at various Sabhas in the city.  There are many popular and age-old Sabhas like The Music Academy, Thyaga Brahma Gana Sabha, Krishna Gana Sabha, Narada Gana Sabha and so on and so forth.  Most of these Sabhas have special caterers attached to them like Arusuvai Arasu, Gnanambika, etc which serve delicious food, snacks and degree coffee.

I started going to concerts when I was in my first year of M.Sc.(Statistics).  I had two friends, Srivi and Viji, who were of my same wavelength.  Added to that, Srivi’s dad and Viji’s Mom were also eager to hear concerts.  Deep in my heart, stays the memories of Srivi and myself, walking hand in hand, changing buses, running from one Sabha to another, longing to get a seat for the free Kutcheris that happens in the afternoons.  Those were the days(1995- 1997), when today’s stars like Nithyasree Mahadevan, Unnikrishnan, Sowmya, Bombay Jayshree, Priya Sisters and the like were budding artists, and were given the 2:00 p.m. slot at The Music Academy.  I remember, rushing from my college soon after the morning session ended.  I would catch the train at Tambaram, meet Srivi, at the Chromepet station, and we both used to go to Guindy, catch the bus, 45B, get down at Alwarpet Signal and walk towards Music Academy.  At those times, we weren’t given much cash as pocket money.  We used to spend the meagre money given to us, very carefully.

Once, Viji, her mom and myself had gone to hear Sudha Raghunathan, at a Sabha in the city.  While coming back, it was already 8 or 8:30 p.m. and added to our woes, the bus broke down at Pallavaram.  We waited impatiently and reached home very late to earn the wrath of our family members.

Hey!! Forgot to mention the month end season that starts at the famous Nanganallur Anjaneya Swamy Temple. There the concert starts at 7 p.m. and goes on upto 10:30 p.m.  So, Srivi’s father used to come along with me and Srivi.  Usually, 31st December used to be M.S. Subbulakshmi and 1st Jan used to be Sudha Raghunathan’s concerts.  We never used to miss any concert there.  I remember my mom waiting at the end of the road, where my house is, looking at every train that comes from Beach to Tambaram, to see whether her dear daughter has at least come in that train.  Many mamis who used to put Kolams at that late night(instead of putting it the next day early morning!!)used to enquire my mom, why she left her daughter to come home that late?  My mother, would promptly reply them back, stating that she had faith in me and she left me to enjoy whatever I was interested in, as long as it was good.

Those lovely days are still green in my heart!! After my wedding, kids came in and I was engrossed in my own world.  Now, that the kids have grown, I have made up my mind to attend concerts.  What more, my husband and kids, are equally enthusiastic, to attend them too.  We all heard the Heart Ensemble concert, by Dr. S. Karthik, popularly known as Ghatam Karthik, and his group last year on Christmas day.  It so coincides that Sri. Poongulam Subramaniam, in that troupe, is my younger kid Karthik’s Mridangam master.

This year, I have plans to go to at least 3 to 5 concerts.  Hope, I am able to…

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கார்த்திக் இன்று “வண்டலூர் ஜூ”க்கு school visit!!

நேற்று மாலை, நான் பிள்ளைகள் இருவரையும் பள்ளியில் அழைக்கச் சென்ற போது, கார்த்திக்கின் முகத்தில், 100 வாட் பல்பு மின்னியது. விஷயம் இது தான் – “நாளை என் க்ளாஸில் எல்லாரையும் ஸ்கூல் டிரிப், வண்டலூர் ஜூ அழைத்துப் போகப் போகிறார்கள்” என்றான். மறக்காமல் அண்ணா field trip போன போது, சரவண பவனில் வாங்கி கொடுத்தாயே! potato chips, அதே மாதிரி பெரிய பாக்கெட் சிப்ஸ் எனக்கும் வேணும். என் ப்ரெண்ட்ஸ்கிட்ட சொல்லியிருக்கேன், நான் potato chips கொண்டு வருவேன் என்று” என்றான். ஞாபக மறதியில் நேற்று வீட்டிற்கு வந்ததில் extra திட்டு வேறு!! இன்று காலை, வழக்கமாய்ப் படுக்கையை விட்டு எழுந்திருக்கத் தகறாறு செய்யும் கார்த்திக், கூப்பிட்ட குரலிலேயே எழ, எனக்கு, தினமும் ஏதாவது, school trip இருக்கக் கூடாதா!! என்றிருந்தது. எல்லா வேலைகளையும் செவ்வனே செய்து, நல்ல பிள்ளையை போல் கிளம்பினான்.  ஸ்கூல் செல்லும் வழியில் மறக்காமல் சரவண பவனில் நின்று, potato chips வாங்கிய பிறகே நாங்கள் பள்ளி சென்றோம்.

மாலை, நான் பள்ளி சென்றதும், முதலில் அவன் வகுப்பாசிரியைப் பார்த்தேன். அவர் என்னிடம், “கார்த்திக், இன்று மிக அற்புதமாக நடந்து கொண்டான்” என்றார்.  சற்று நேரத்தில் கார்த்திக் என்னைக் கண்டு ஓடி வந்தான்.  நான் ரொம்ப enjoy பண்ணினேன் அம்மா!! என்றான்.

உடனே, விக்னேஷ், “அம்மா, அவன் கூட்டத்தைப் பார்த்த உடனே, அப்படித் தான் இருந்திருக்கும்” என்றான்.  வேண்டாத வம்பு…அடிதடியில் முடிந்தது.!!!

Titan Raga Chocolate watch collection!!

As a teenager, I had always longed to own a Titan watch. On my 21st birthday, my dad had gifted me Rs.1500/- to get a Titan watch.  Me and my friends, Srivi and Viji, had gone to the Titan showroom at Pondy Bazaar.  Although I had my dream of getting a Titan watch, the moment we went there, on seeing the Timex collections, I got myself two Timex watches instead of a single Titan watch.  Srivi, who got married in 1997 and settled in USA,  came for my wedding in March 1999.  She gifted me and my husband, a Titan pair watch, which was the first of my Titan watch collection.  We still have those watches after 11 blissful years of married life.  Mine was a round dial, with light brown strap.  Then, I had only that watch for a long time, around 7 to 8 years.

A few years back, my husband, Vythi, got me a stainless steel strapped Titan, as a surprise for my birthday.  It had a black dial. That was Titan Watch No.2.

For the past few years, Titan has been having a campaign, “Exchange any of your old Titan watches, and have a discount of 25% on the new one!!”.  I went to the Vadapalani showroom in 2007, and to my good luck that day, the showroom manager offered me the 25% discount without my exchange of the old Titan watch.  I got a golden strapped oval dialed watch. Watch No.3 from Titan

Every year, for Valentine’s day, it used to be my practice to get Vythi some romantic gift.  He generally doesn’t have that habit of shopping aimlessly or even romantically.  Last Valentine’s day, Feb 2008, Vythi was up at his usual time, and was reading the newspaper.  He saw a Titan ad, which caught his attention, and drove directly to the Titan showroom that morning and got me a watch with a cool blue dial, and blue stones on the stainless steel strap.  That watch was specially released by Titan for that year’s Valentine’s day, and I was happy to get my 4th Titan watch.

Titan watches, which used to be my all-time favourite, had slipped down on sales during the late 90’s and early years of the 21st century.  But recently, for the past two or three years, they have been releasing new and new range of products.  Last May, they released Titan Chocolate collection, which were reminiscing of Chocolates.  I knew I already had many watches, but couldn’t resist my temptation towards Chocolate.  Later that year, Raga Diva collections were launched and this year just before Diwali, Titan flora collections were launched.

It was a gift, God-sent, when our family won the gift coupon for Rs.500/- redemption coupon, from Titan Watches, Ashok Nagar, for tie display of Golu at our house, for this year 2009.  I couldn’t make up my mind, as to whether to buy Chocolate or Diva or Flora collection.  I loved one of the patterns of Flora, which had a beautiful dark blue strap, and the dial was also rectangular, which i didn’t own so far.  But, I had waited patiently for quite a few months, and inspite of that wasn’t very lucky to get that. Ultimately, I was quite impressed by the Chocolate watch which others too liked and took that watch.

The above watch has an ivory dial and a matching strap.  Mine has a dark chocolate brown strap and a light brown dial.  Will post a picture of my own watch…

Vignesh turned TEN today!!!

Hey, It has been 10 wonderful years, since my older son, Vignesh, came into our life. I loved his birthdate, Dec. 7, as it has been celebrated as Flag Day. Right since my childhood, when there used to be a mention of the soldiers who worked for our country, during our morning general assembly, I used to remember the great deeds of these soldiers on Dec. 7th every year thereafter.

Now, a short recap of what happened 10 years back, on the day Vignesh was  born:

I got married to Vythi, on March 5th, 1999.  We were expecting our first kid in the first week of December 1999.  Throughout my pregnancy, I had lots of complications, right from the date, the pregnancy got confirmed, till the date of delivery.  I remember,  waiting hours together, every fornight or so, in front of my gynaec’s examination room, at St. Isabel Hospital, Mylapore, Chennai.  At last, on Dec.3rd, which was supposed to be my expected date of delivery, I got admitted into the hospital.

My doctor, checked me thoroughly, and said, we can wait for another couple of days, and look for possibilities of a natural delivery.  My husband was more anxious than me to see the kid.  And, to add to it, he is of the nature, that he gets worked up for even very small things.  I am basically a very optimistic, and an active lady.  I hated the scene of lying down in the hospital bed, and hence I avoided lying down on that bed.  Vythi who is very much workaholic was relieved to be out of his work related situation, and enjoyed himself in that bed.  Most of the time, when the nurses came to check my vital parameters, used to laugh at finding him in the bed, instead of me..

On Dec.6th morning, the doctor decided to induce pain, and she said, she will put me in the process of administering Oxytocin.  She said, I would soon go into labour.  I had heard several stories on pain during labour, and had the firsthand experience of seeing ladies on the labour table, who were shouting with pain.  But, during the entire pregnancy, I had built up my mind to be calm and smile, when my baby comes into this wonderful world, instead of crying with pain.  The nurses asked me to keep walking, so that I get into labour pain soon.  I experienced mild contractions, but I kept a smiling face.  This continued, till the next day evening…..Poor Vythi, was irritated by that sight of me simply walking up and down, that too with a wide grin on my face.  He went to the doctor, many times, and said, “You are saying that the cervix has dilated 25%, 40%, 45% etc., but still I don’t see anything concrete that is happening”.   My mother was unwell, and she was lying down.  My dad and my mother-in-law were mere spectators.  On 7th evening, the doctor, found that my placenta was very strong, and she artificially ruptured the placenta, so that the progress towards childbirth will be faster.  Soon after that, the pains were becoming severe, and the doctor, asked Vythi, who had been with me for the entire 3 days at hospital to attend to his work for a few hours, and the birth would probably be at around 11p.m. or later.  So, Vythi left half-heartedly, to his office.  Things were going smoothly, and the doctor too, left for her home, after giving necessary instructions, to the duty doctor and the nurses.  At around 9 p.m., the nurses found that the heartbeat of the baby was coming down, and immediately informed my doctor.  She came within 20 minutes, checked me, and said, the umbilical cord, has tied around the neck of the baby, and hence myself pushing the baby had started to choke the baby slightly and that was the reason, for the decrease in its heartbeat.  She said, it would be safe to proceed to a caesarean, and I immediately agreed.  My mother-in-law was hesitant, as my husband was also not there at that moment. But the doctor, said we have to proceed to the operation theatre and hence I, who was fully conscious had to sign in the Patient agreement document, before proceeding to the theatre.  My husband was also informed of the urgency of the situation.  Added to the complications, all the major operations theatres in the hospital were occupied, with pre-planned surgeries.  My doctor, took me to a Mini-OT which was free at 9:35 p.m., and at 9:43 p.m., Vignesh came into this world, thanks to Dr. Usha Krishnakumar and her team members.

Today, after 10 wonderful years of parenting my two kids, I am extremely thankful to the Almighty, for blessing me with such a wonderful family – a loving husband, and two sweet kids.

Happy Birthday Vignesh!!!

House on Wheels!!

My husband’s cousin, works as an Accounts Executive.  He has never been seen in the same city for more than two years, for the past ten years.  Both my husband and his cousin brother got married in 1999.  So, we have two kids, each, almost of the same age, although of opposite sexes.  He has two lovely daughters, and we are blessed with two tireless daring boys.  The kids too have adapted to their father’s nomadic life.  They were initially at Chennai, then went to Bangalore, then for a short time to Mumbai, back to Chennai, and recently he switched to a new company, for which he has to work from Bangalore.  Whenever I went to their house, I used to tell my co-sister, as to how they were able to pack and unpack their entire house, every one or two years.  We had moved to our own flat in 2002 September, and are yet to paint it, just for the worry that how to shift the things, and put them back on their places.  It has been seven plus years, without repainting.  She gave me an interesting look and said, “Uma, you know something. My kids have suggested a beautiful plan.  They said, just like the trolley bags comes with wheels underneath them, they suggested their dad to have a House on Wheels, so that they can move to wherever place on earth, their daddy gets his job.” A very wild imagination by her kids!!!

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