Tough to drive during rain in Chennai roads

It has been raining continuously for almost more than a week and the streets are waterlogged.  I used to love rains as a child or even as a young girl but not now.  First reason, it would be mostly accompanied by kids getting cold/cough/fever etc etc and the several doctor-visits that might follow.  But the major reason, that I fear rain is while driving my car.  When it rains, the surroundings become so dark that it resembles a late evening environment.  Roads are filled up with water, especially a few stretches like Kathipara – Olympia Tech Park – Hilton Hotel.  Water gushes out as if some river or lake is overflowing and you feel scared that the water might enter into your car.  My earlier car, a Maruti 800, once was filled with water till my knee level or more.  The thoughts of that one event makes me shiver with fear!!Every bus that passes on my side, would make my car shake this side and that side.  I start praying all known and unknown Gods to get out of those places and feel relieved when I park my car at my home.

Today morning, when I started to work, the climate was pleasant sans rains.  A few minutes down the road, a heavy downpour started and many were clueless as the rains severed. I couldn’t hear anything except the splashes of rain drops. Heavy rains, heavy traffic made my life miserable.  I was encouraging myself to drive fast to work.  Suddenly, an Innova car that came on the opposite side sped past me splashing water.  For a moment, I couldn’t see anything in front of me.  And the worst part was that, it was a low lying bridge upon the Adyar river, which made me even more nervous.  I was just waiting for these few moments to pass by and thankfully, here I am sitting on a cosy chair at my workplace typing this post.  Happy am I to have reached safely to work today amidst rains.

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School educational tour costs Rs. 46,500 / Rs. 80,000???

Educational trips during school days have always been memorable, as it has “Nothing Official!!” about it, other than the fact that the teachers accompany the students. Otherwise, the students enjoy their day to the core, and have their memorable moments.  As far as I remember, I have often gone to Mahabalipuram, Crocodile Park or Vandalur Zoo umpteen number of times, in the name of School trip.  During our 11th standard alone, I remember going to Kodaikanal and my juniors then, couldn’t digest that at all.

I have been thinking that things haven’t changed much, as both my kids, regularly go to Dakshin Chitra, the same old Vandalur Zoo, Birla Planetarium or the Musuem as part of their educational trip.  To my surprise, this academic year,  one of my  good friend’s son, studying in Class V,  was heading towards Kodaikanal on a 4 day educational trip.  When I said this to Vignesh, he was so upset that his school doesn’t come up with such places, and instead going to some local place or the other which they all have already visited.

Hey, one fine evening, that too, a Friday evening, a circular was uploaded on their school website regarding Educational Tours 2010-11. Hurray!! was the buzz word among the students.. The circular read that the students from Classes VI to VIII will be taken to a 5 day trip to Singapore costing Rs. 46,500/- and Classes IX – XI will be taken to China on a five day trip for a cost of Rs. 80,000/- I think many parents might have got hot, and irritated.  The children, most of whom have not had taken the word “NO” throughout their life so far, couldn’t digest the fact that their parents are not granting permission for them to go along with their pals on this rare trip. Fortunately or unfortunately, as there were very less registrations, this idea was dropped and now the school has come down a little and announced their next proposal.

The revised proposal is that Class VI to VIII will go on a trip to Jaipur and its surroundings via air, and stay in 4-star hotel, while the students of Classes IX – XI will go to Jodhpur. The costs were between 16,500 to 18,000/-

Even this, is something which haven’t been heard of, at least for me.  Thank god, my son himself, was not convinced with the cost, and was not in a mood to ask me permission.  But, I get calls from other parents, whose children have started nagging them to send them to these trips.

I don’t think they need to spend so high for such educational trips.  They can very well go to near by places, may be villages and show these city bred kids, as to what is nature, what is farming, what is life at the village, how do their counterparts at village study/play etc etc.  May be, someone from my kids’ school read this blog and revisit their decision to go far north, and instead go to a small town/village nearby Chennai…

Kids’ summer vacation began with a trip to Uttarkhand

As with most mothers who are terrified with the announcement of summer vacation, especially with more than a kid at home, I was also, wondering what I was going to do with the duo, to beat the heat.  Luckily, when Vythi was trying to book for our long pending holiday, we got a week’s stay at Club Mahindra’s Resort at Binsar, Uttarkhand.  We had an adventurous holiday over there, and our week’s stay deserves a separate post for itself.

We are back and the kids are already missing their adventurous holidays at Binsar.  Added to that, the heat at Chennai, the shifting of their maternal grandparents’ house, and ever nagging mommy’s instructions via phone, mobile, live etc. makes them feel the heat more!!!

Hope the holidays fly away and the school reopens for the next academic year!!

We haven’t been apart for such a long time dear!! Waiting for you to come

It has been really, really a long time, since Chandar(officially Vythi, my better half) and me have been apart.  It was way back in January, when he had gone to Bangalore,  immediately after we all, as a family had been to Bangalore to attend my cousin Suresh’s wedding.  After that, we had our own sweet time together, ((although, in between we might have had a few rough times, that lasted a few moments only) for the whole of February.  Then, it was March, and we had our wedding day, which brought us even more memories of our initial meetings, and the immediate days/months after wedding.  We relived those moments.  Suddenly, two days before our wedding day, Vythi told me that he might need to go to Hosur, on an official visit, and he is trying to postpone it, so that he will be there with us, on Friday, 5th March 2010, our wedding anniversary, and then push off to Hosur on Sunday.  As planned, he left to Bangalore, on Sunday, stating that it might be minimum Wednesday, max. Friday for him to return.

I was very much hopeful that, Vythi would make to Chennai by today morning, as he will definitely finish his work, to come back to home, sweet home!! But, alas, to my utter disappointment, he just called a few minutes back, and told that he can come only on Friday morning.

It is really tough to be without somebody, whom you get used to being with, even it is for a day or night. Longing to have you, Vythi,  at Chennai, near me…Please come soon.

Crafts made by Vignesh and Karthik at Dakshinchitra

At Dakshinchitra, on Feb 21st 2010, Vignesh made a rabbit out of sea shells with the help of an art trainer. Here is the final outcome of his rabbit craft.

Rabbit made by Vignesh using sea shells

How can Karthik keep quiet.  He tried his hands on clay icon painting, then pot painting etc.  His clay icon after painting it looked like this:

A Kathakali picture painted by Karthik

Then, the kids along with their father tried their hands in pot making.  They learnt to make cute little pots.

Vythi with his newly made pot

Vignesh showcasing his work

Karthik trying his hands on pottery

Karthik trying his hands on pottery

Welcome home, Srivi!!

I had always known to be roaming around more with my friends rather than my family people.  Especially, our gang of seven, called Splendid Seven, during my college days at Vaishnav College (1992-1995), have gone to almost every happening place at Chennai.  Be it a Sanskrit sloka recitation competition, or a dumb charades competition, or a quiz , treasure hunt and what not?? our gang was used to be seen at most of the inter-collegiate functions.  To top up this, our gang member Srivi, had a cute little sis, Aarthi, and also, two close friends Vijaya and Meena for the Comp.Sc. department.  Thanks to her NIIT classes, we also got another one in our gang, Saiprema.  Immediately after college,  Gayathri, Lakshmi and Geetha got married.  Still, we managed to keep in touch.  Slowly by 2000, all of us were married, and now, all have kids, and the eldest among the kids are 14 years old, while the youngest are 3  years old.  In the meantime, on very rare occasions, we have met, and most of the time, someone or the other used to miss the get-together.

Srivi, who has settled in Canada, and had not visited India, since 2001, had suddenly made up her mind in Jan 2010, to visit India, for 3 weeks in Feb 2010.  When she called Viji and myself, we were very much enthralled to hear her voice, and both of us made up our minds, to catch up with Srivi, as much as possible, to share our secrets, and other girlish stuff.

Feb 4th, 2010, was a perfect beginning for us, to meet. It was Srivi’s sis Aarthi’s son’s Upanayanam, and Viji and myself, went there on a triple purpose, one for the Upanayanam, the other to meet Srivi after a long time, and last but not the least, to spend time between me and Viji, which itself has not been happening as often as we would love to. After the function got over, we spent Viji and Ram’s 10th wedding anniversary, at the best suited place for them.  Although Ram was away, at Belgium on an official tour, Viji, made it for both of them, and we spent time at my parent’s place at Sanatorium.

Our next plan was to meet Srivi, with all our families.  We fixed the date for the meet as Feb 21st, as it was not only a Sunday, but was Srivi’s birthday.  The last b’day of Srivi that I remember being with her was in 1997, the year she got married, and she was about to leave to America, the same night.  Myself and Viji, we rushed to meet Srivi, along with her newly wed husband, at her Thatha’s place at West Mambalam.  Thirteen years have passed by, and still, we are, as close as we were then, and that itself called for a celebration.  Four families, Aarthi, Srivi, Uma and Viji’s, with respective husbands and kids, made it a group of 15 in total (8 adults + 7 kids) headed towards Dakshinchitra , near Mahabalipuram and reached around 12:00 noon.  It was my idea to go there, because, ideally, I wanted a calm place, where the kids too would enjoy exploring the place, and the guys would both baby sit as well as get to know each other well, during which time, we ladies wanted to have time for ourselves.

The kids tried out their hands in various craft work.  Few of the elders too, tried their hands on making pots. Overall, it was a great day spent and we loved having fun together after a long time.

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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