Obsessivemom

Obsessivemom

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#Microblog Mondays- The Pink Run

If you've bumped into me on FB you'll know already what this post is going to be about. Yes yes yes!! I did the Pinkathon! I ran the 5km marathon to raise breast cancer awareness. I wrote about it earlier here when I registered.

We woke up to a perfect weather on Sunday morning - cool and dry with a gentle breeze. The reporting time was 5.30 am, which meant we needed to be up by 4.30. Gawd!! The thought was enough to make me want to not go. But am I glad I went!

I'm really just not good enough a writer to put into words how incredible the experience was. The warmth, the bonhomie, the energy - incredible. Women young  and old, women in saris, girls in hot pants, moms with strollers, sisters, daughters, buddies, even a pair of girl-dogs (I presume) in glittery pink collars  - all together in a wonderful glorious sea of pink and white.




And then there was The Handsomest Brand Ambassador ever - Milind Soman - who I had the hugest teenage crush on. Still have it! Sigh! He's way way more handsome up close, if that is even possible.
Sigh some more!!!




My dancing-in-public debut happened at the warm up Zumba session. I found myself following the instructor on stage, with gusto, I might add. It helped having a bit of a crazy friend by my side, and that the music was familiar from our Zumba class. Feet were stamped, elbows bumped and eyes were poked. Sorrys flew around and were waved away with smiles.

From 89 years to 18 months - there was a range of participants. I found myself running next to two five year olds egged on by their mom. Each time their steps flagged the mom would say, 'You want that medal, don't you? Come on!!' And they'd double their efforts. Once they sat down by the road but two minutes and a few sips of water and they were up again. Dads, husbands, brothers, friends and sunny-smiled volunteers lined the roads clapping and cheering and clicking pictures.

The run itself was hardly a little over 40 minutes. Before we knew it, we were jogging towards the finish line and we had the medals and were munching on biscuits and sipping hot tea.

Just perfect!


Yeah I'm a finisher.

Linking to Mel's # Microblog Mondays at Stirrup Queens. 






Monday, November 10, 2014

Sunday Breakfast

Sunday morning I woke up craving Upma - a savoury dish made from semolina with peanuts and loads of veggies. I set out chopping carrots and defreezing peas. 

As I started roasting the semolina in walked N. 
'What are you making mama?' she asked, 'Halwa?' 
Halwa is a sweet preparation also made from roasted Semolina, a huge favourite with both the kids. H followed soon, sniffing, 'Ummm I haven't even smelt halwa for soooo long.' He's such a sniffer, this one. He goes around smelling flour and dough and sugar and raw vegetables. 

The halwa used to be a breakfast staple till The Husband turned diabetic. I, in any case, am a perpetual weight watcher. Besides, I've been in consultation with a dietitian for the past few months and am allowed a 'what-I-want' breakfast only on Sundays.


Anyway, even as the kids hung around the kitchen, before I knew it, just like that, I was pouring ghee (clarified butter) in the pan, then the roasted semolina and the sugar and making halwa.

Instead of this..
Doesn't the upma look great with all those colourful vegetables?
Photo courtesy: Dreamstime.com

I ended up with this.
That's halwa - Sweet and nutty and delicious.
Photo courtesy: Dreamstime.com

That's what kids do - saunter into your lives without as much as a 'May-I' and change your plans completely. What's stranger, you don't realise it for a long long time and when you do, you don't really mind it. They do bring along lots of sweetness, right? 
That kind of makes it all worth it.

However, what they do not do, is stave off Upma cravings. And so after I was done, up went another pan and I set out roasting a fresh batch of semolina and made the Upma too. No point stifling your cravings.

The Sunday breakfast table was one happy place yesterday.

Linking to # Microblog Mondays hosted by Mel at Stirrup Queens.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

For a good cause

 A few weeks before Diwali we were approached by a resident from our complex asking for old clothes and toys to be donated to an organisation close to where we stay.

As any mom with growing kids will know we have tons and tons of both, what with changing wardrobes each season. Nope that's not an attempt to keep up with the fashion houses it's just that the kids grow amazingly fast. And so we made out three large bags - clothes, toys and books.

That's where I think the idea germinated and N and her friends decided to take the cause further. They have long been fascinated with playing 'shop shop' where they sell imaginary things to each other. Combining both ideas they got busy crafting during their Diwali vacations. They painted diyas, quilled cards and made some other knick knacks like pencil tops and wall decorations. They then arranged them prettily in baskets and went around the complex selling them to the residents.

They managed to raise a small amount of money and took it to the lady who had approached us for the donations. She in turn got in touch with the NGO and came back with the information that they needed a cooking gas stove for their daycare centre. So a gas stove was bought and handed over by the girls. What a happy bunch it was that came home that day (after an ice cream treat for their efforts).

It was such a pleasant change to have this usually quibbling, arguing, gossipping bunch get together and do some good work. For once we had people patting us on the back for the kids' good work even though we had barely anything to do with it.

The most important takeaway was of course that it is not really tough to lend a hand if one decides to. If each small bunch in a building complex could get together for a small initiative such as this one we could have so many more smiles. Right?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Confessions of a book snob


The mind changers
It really is true that despite years of living with someone, despite spending each waking-sleeping moment with him-her, you don't really get to know them.

And so it was with me. After years of thinking myself a liberal, only recently I realised I am a book snob.

But first I must present my defence.
I come from a generation when we had few distractions - no TVs, no computers, not even phones to chat away with friends and no friends other than school friends. School was a good 10 kms away which by the standards of those times was pretty much in the 'jungle'. 

So what did we do in the long summer vacations, Christmas breaks and weekends? We read, my sister and I, and we bonded, perfectly.

The other thing was that we went to a school run by strict Irish nuns who set high reading standards. The books we got were screened, I am sure. We had 'age appropriate' cupboards neatly labelled with the class they were suited to. We weren't allowed comics till after class VI, not even Amar Chitra Kathas. We HAD to choose one book of fiction, one biography and one Hindi book each week. We HAD to have a book mark and a book cover failing which we weren't allowed a book. All wonderful habits, I might add. Habits I cherish and I'm very proud of. Habits I wish I was better at inculcating in my children.

And so I grew up on Enid Blyton, Louisa Alcott, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and then - Georgette Heyers and Victoria Holts.

Later, I spent years at the news desk meticulously changing 'color' to 'colour', correcting language, following the 'right' way and getting more and more set in that right way, more sure than ever that I KNEW what was best when it came to reading.

I lost touch with kids' books till I had kids of my own some two decades later. What a rude shock that was. Wimpy Kid, I am not a Loser, Geronimo Stilton and Lord my God!! Captain Underpants! Peppered with pictures and illustrations, arrows and diagrams, doodles and drawings with coloured text jumping at you from unexpected places, with font that changed like a shape shifter - an unwarranted assault on my senses! What were these? Half-comic-half-book-half scribbled notes? Mongrelised reads, all.

I saw Midsummer Night's Dream as a comic and my heart broke a bit. When I spotted a Captain Underpants in my son's hands I freaked. The spellings were blasphemous. How could I allow it?

I looked down upon them all. I pushed forward my favourites. Noddy, Faraway Tree, Wishing Chair, Amelia Jane. As if in retaliation, the children rejected the lot. Each of them. I was heartbroken and I gave up on my kids as non-readers.

And then, very recently, I stumbled upon this article that said to 'Everyone Loves Reading - Just Find the Right Book' written by Tanushree Singh. And I was forced to re-evaluate my attitude.

I wasn't all wrong. However things have changed. 

Books are now not competing with other books. They are competing with television, the iPad, the PS-3 and the lure of friends at the door. They have to squeeze themselves between dance class and karate class, hold their own with Othello and Topple, fight off the Barbies and the Power rangers.

It cannot be easy.

What they need, desperately, are friends, friends not book racists, not heartless, judgmental critics. Friends, among parents, teachers and all sensible adults. Friends who would understand why they have had to change avatars, why they have to dress themselves up as graphic novels and comics. 

Besides, wasn't Enid Blyton banned in schools in her time? Isn't Roald Dahl irreverent and gory and yes, rude, in bits? Who's to judge the good and the bad? By all means ban the obscene, ban the bad language, ban the overtly violent but stop there. Rather than choosing just the best, reject just the worst. Let more of them make the cut.

God knows our kids need them way more than they need our kids.

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