Plastic money – I hate you!!

I have always been a shopaholic and love to swipe my card till it cries!! Of late I feel the pinch because it is not me who is spending but my kids.  I remember those days, when I was a kid.  Shopping with parents was the rarest thing to happen and the easiest excuse from parents would be that, “Ippo avalo rooba illa. Appram paakalaam (roughly translated into, “I don’t have that much cash, we can buy that later”).

But I am not able to give the same excuse to my son.  He coolly says, “Ma, you don’t need money. Just swipe your card. That will do”.  I really hate you dear Plastic Money!



When will these stereotyped schools and teachers change??

Last Saturday was the first Parent Teachers Meeting for both my kids, for this academic year.  Usually my DH does not find time to come with us for these meetings.  I’ll go along with the kids, meet the teachers, get the report cards, with added spices from teachers about my kids’ behaviour at class.

This time, it was both Karthik and myself, who were in our own thoughts, as to what his teachers might comment about him.  As you might have already known from my writings, Karthik is a very hyperactive kid and the added fact is that my kids have a mom who never nags them to study like the studious regular moms who are more in this beautiful earth.

First, we met Karthik’s class teacher.  She said, he was OK in academics, and pointed out that his intelligence is not shown in his performance in the tests.  I told her that he doesn’t have the patience to take up the two-periods test completely.  She was more worried about the way in which he behaves in the class.  She said, he was too good whenever she was around, but was the extreme opposite once the class teacher leaves the class, until the time, the next subject teacher entered. Apart from English Literature (they also have English Language as a paper) and Basic Hindi orals (written, he had done well), all his other marks were quite impressive.  So we had to meet these two teachers.

The English teacher made it my worst ever day at the school.   She said, Karthik was so hyperactive that it required the first 30 minutes of her class to make him sit, and hence she had only ten minutes of the rest of the time to teach the subjectt.  I, being a teacher, had thought that it is the teacher’s basic ability to hold the attention of  his/her class students.  Though, I couldn’t tell her about it.   She said that he doesn’t do this, he doesn’t listen for a long time, this and that.  Also, the last thing that she said, “As a parent, you need to be behind your child, know the test dates, make him write mock tests, check his notebook daily, make him complete his uncompleted work and the like.” I got really furious.  I gathered all my anger and replied her, “I expect all these to happen at school.  I have seen my elder kid during his Class III, who never had opened his text books or note books for studying specifically for his exams during Class III.  But, still he topped not only his class, but the entire third standard comprising of six sections with roughly 40 kids each.”

I feel that the kids should not be pressurized to memorize the subject just for the sake of writing the exams or scoring marks in those exams. The subjects should be taught in such a way that kindles the enthusiasm in the young minds to explore more on those topics.  Even languages, could be taught in the most interesting manner, so that the child develops a passion in knowing the language and its powerfulness.  I cherish a few of  my language teachers during my school and college time, who have made them memorable.

After getting more from his Tamil teacher too, we moved to get the report card of  Vignesh.  His marks too were good in Maths, Science and Social Studies.  But all three languages were a flop, English, Tamil and Basic Hindi.  He had scored roughly 6 or 7 out of a total of 10 points.  His handwriting was something which he had to improve.  That was insisted by all teachers.  He carries already 5 to 6 kgs of loads of books everyday.  Whenever I question him, he says, for each subject, he has one or two text books, 4 or 5 note books, and he had to carry all of them everyday, as they never knew, which notebook they might use  on any particular day.  The Maths teacher complained that, most of the time, he never had the appropriate notebook that he was supposed to have, and was writing in his rough note.  I couldn’t agree to that. And the saddest part was that, she didn’t even remember his name, as she was handling just that paper for his class.

That day, I hated their school the most.  I had always thought that the kids were enjoying their school and this school is not the regular stereotyped, book oriented, mark oriented school.  But I changed my views completely.

I really feel sad for my kids.  Hate to become a mom, who just cares about the marks and grades my kids would get.  I would rather homeschool my kids, instead of putting them in such schools.

Mother’s Day 2010 – a sweet surprise

Yesterday, being the 2nd Sunday of May, was celebrated as Mother’s Day all over the world.  In my family too, we do celebrate it well.  My husband and his sister would always get their mom, something and surprise her with a gift, may be a saree, or a handbag, or something that is close to her heart.

This year, my husband, started to proceed to Nai Haa for getting his mom, a salwar kameez of her choice.  She said, in this hot summer, she would prefer salwar to saree.  Both Vignesh and Karthik, started along with him, taking money from their collection box.  I think they have a much heavier box than mine. They picked up a beautiful synthetic saree, a white one with blue and purple flowers all over the saree and gifted me.

While Vignesh, was the one who chose the colour and the saree, Karthik, was as usual in his best, when he told his dear Anna, that, “Dai, the best gift for her today, by us would be that we both shouldn’t trouble her much!!”…Aaaaaaah, what a statement!!

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…

School bag at Rs.1550/-!!!!!!!!!(Shock of the year to me…)

My two kids, Vignesh and Karthik are of two extreme personalities.  The elder one, as his name is, Vignesh, is silent, looks very studious, does mischiefs that get unnoticed, and hence has a very good reputation both at home and outside.  The younger one Karthik, resembles Lord Muruga, in all his activities – Karthik is known for his eccentric characterisitcs, loud voice, hurry in doing/finishing whatever he does, and height of all things, he gets angry very quickly.  In fact, during his childhood days, I used to tease him that we kept his name as Karthik, because he was similar to Lord Muruga, in the sense that just like Lord Muruga used to get angry with Lord Shiva, and Goddess Parvathi, and go up to one Hill or the other, thereby getting his nickname as “Kundru Thorum Kaatchi Alippavan Muruganavan”, Karthik used to go to some corner of the house, and show his anger to us.

In keeping their personal belongings too, Vignesh, is very very careful about all his things.  I used to see, small small pencils, that he still uses, telling him that they were similar to “Gandhiji’s Little Pencil”.  He remembers most of the play stuff they he got during his very young years.  On the contrary, Karthik doesn’t care about his belongings, takes at least three to four pencils, 2 erasers, 2 pencil sharpeners a week.  Inspite of that, whenever we ask for something, while helping him on his studies, he wouldn’t have anything at that time.  Karthik has reached his all time heights of getting three school bags last year for the single academic year.  This year too, it is hardly the first term, that has got over, and successfully, he is on with his first bag of the year.

Vignesh, for the last three years, has kept his school bag, without any trouble, not even a tear here and there, or any zipper fault.  Just a few days back, he came up with the first complaint about his long-standing bag, that one of the main zippers has become faulty.  I was thinking of repairing the same, but his dear paternal grandmother, was telling him, that she would like to get him a bag for his 10th birthday, which is about to happen on December 7th.  Vignesh’s dad, suggested his mom, that she better gave him the money so that Vignesh can pick up a bag of his choice, and I can at the same time, approve of it so that the money is spent wisely.  Yesterday, being a Sunday, we had no other choice but to kill our time without my husband, because, he was off to a corporate meeting.  So, Vignesh and myself decided to drive down to Roshan Bag Mall, located at the heart of T.Nagar, near the famous T.Nagar bus terminus.  We went to the first floor which was having a dedicated section for school bags of different sizes.  We were looking through several models, and I was just becoming convinced with a bag, whose price tag was around Rs.670/- (plus a 10% discount on it).  I should have picked up the same, but saw a beautiful American Tourister bag.  I just thought, I will enquire the price of it, and yet settle down for the one which I had already made up my mind.  The salesperson, politely, took that bag, and kept in front of us.  He kept on speaking about its features, its quality, extended warranty, etc., etc., and Vignesh was quite naturally attracted towards that bag.  When I asked him the price, the man said, “It is Rs.1550/- but comes with a 20% discount, and hence will finally cost Rs.1240/-“.  I almost fainted when I heard the amount.  I think I paid a school fees of about Rs.40/- per month during 1979-Rs.1990, which would mean that I might have been able to pay around 3 years of my school fees.  Of course, the cost of living of those ages and today are incomparable.  Vignesh also kept telling me that these branded ones will definitely last for a longer time, and promised to keep that bag, for the next few years to follow.  Also, deep in my heart, I knew both my husband as well as my mother-in-law would definitely want to buy whatever their dear one, Vignesh, had liked, especially being his birthday gift.  We finally got him that American Tourister bag, and also two small  bags for the two of them, to take to school for their half-a-day sessions.


கீரைக்காரம்மாவிடம் “க்ளோபல் வார்மிங்(Global warming)”

கார்த்திக்கின் பள்ளியில், கடந்த வாரம்,   “க்ளோபல் வார்மிங்(Global warming)” என்ற தலைப்பில் அவனது வகுப்பாசிரியை குழந்தைகளுக்கு எளிதில் புரியக்கூடிய விதத்தில் பாடம் நடத்தியுள்ளார்.  அன்று மாலை பள்ளி விட்டதுமே, கார்த்திக், என்னிடமும், தன் அண்ணனிடமும், அந்த தலைப்பைப் பற்றியே பேச்சு. “Ozone layer”, “Ozone layer depletion”, “Air Pollution” etc. etc., என்று ஒரே புலம்பல்.  வழக்கம் போல், அவர்களின், அன்றைய மாலை வகுப்புகளை முடித்துக் கொண்ட உடனே, நான் இரு குழந்தைகளுடன் காய்கறிகள், பழங்கள் ஆகியவற்றை வாங்கிக்கொண்டு, இறுதியில், கீரை விற்கும் பெண்மணியிடம் சென்றேன்.  அவரிடம், ஒரு கீரைக் கட்டை விலை பேசி, சில்லரை கொடுத்து, வாங்கிக் கொண்டு போலாம்” என்று பார்த்தால், விதி வேறு விதமாய் வேலை செய்தது. ப்ளாஸ்டிக் கவரில், கீரையைக் கொடுத்த பெண்ணிடம், கார்த்திக் சற்றே அதட்டும் குரலில், “என்னம்மா இது!!! இப்படி ப்ளாஸ்டிக் கவரில் கீரையைத் தருகிறீர்கள்! நாம் ஒவ்வொருவரும், இப்படி ஆளாளுக்கு, சுற்றுப்புறச் சூழலை மாசு படுத்தினால், ஓசோன் லேயர் என்ற பகுதி அதிவேகமாக அழிந்து வருகிறது.இப்படியே சென்றால், இன்னும் 20 வருடங்களில், நம்மைக் காக்கின்ற ஓசோன் மண்டலம் அழிந்துவிடும்.” என்றான். அதற்கு அந்த பெண்மணி,”நீ சொல்வது ஒன்றும் விளங்கவில்லையப்பா!!, உனக்கு வேண்டுமானால், நீ வீட்டிலுருந்து வரும் போதே துணிப்பை கொண்டு வா” என்றாள். கார்த்திக் சளைக்காமல், “உங்களிடம் தான் அந்த சாக்கு பை இருக்கே! அதிலே போட்டு குடுங்க…” என்றான்.  இறுதியில், நான் அன்று, கீரைக்கட்டை கையிலேயே ஏந்தி வீடு திரும்பினேன்.