Thursday, August 29, 2013

...and a year flew past! + a trip to Chennai and Pondicherry

SO much has happened in the last few weeks. To begin with, lil Sumedh turned 1 ! My lil bundle of joy is officially a toddler :) He babbles....says thatha, akka, kaa kaa (for crow), adhaaa (to exclaim 'there!!') and a series of sounds.

In true tradition of our music-loving family, Sumedh also sings and puts a thaalam if anyone says 'sa ri ga ma'. The best part is he flips his palm for 'pa dha ni sa' in the manner that it is officially done. He sets into putting the thaalam as soon as anyone begins singing the Carnatic notes :-) Makes me soooo proud!

I travelled to Chennai for just 5 days to meet family, and also to Pondicherry for just one night. There was much to do there but on such a short trip the last thing one expects is to encounter a bandh. That sadly happened to us. So we couldn't shop but we chilled out. Trip to Auroville was a big waste of time though. Firstly, the scorching heat, and secondly there wasn't much to see there and children below 10 years are not allowed in prominent places there. Even if we had booked to enter the Matri Mandir, we still wouldn't have been able to get in with Sumedh. Sigh! The design of the Matri Mandir and the planning that has gone into it is very interesting!!

Samarth surprised us with his streaks of independence. He was on his own in bits and pieces of time with grandparents, and had a great time. The lad is sure growing up!! :)






Monday, August 12, 2013

My India best-est :)

I arrived in Mumbai sometime mid-July for Jr # 1's summer vacations so it'll soon be a month now. A month gone and another month to go for our return back to the searing Middle East heat.

Officially the first time that Jr # 2 is visiting Mumbai and he's amazed by the crowds and groups of relatives and friends who treat him like the chief guest and coo around him :) He's enjoying all the pampering and attention! Oh and he is soon going to be a very grand 1 year old toddler, so preparations are on in full swing for his birthday :)

In all my visits to Mumbai so far, one thing has not changed and that is the city itself. The economic imbalance is so evident! It's so ironic that on one side there are all these malls that dot the suburbs and on the exact opposite side of the road there are shanties where you can see kids peeing and pooping everywhere whilst running around naked.

There are high rise buildings springing up everywhere and there are people who can afford to give out a pricey 2 crores to buy an apartment - Yet there are people who survive on a few rupees a day. And the latter even manage to feed themselves and a family in those few rupees.

One thing is for sure. In India, the common man's struggles never end. A swanky car sped past on the Mumbai-Pune highway, and nearby I could see a shabbily dressed man racing up the dusty, grimy roads trying to jump into an equally grimy public bus that wouldn't even stop for him.

Oh dear reader, before you jump at me for commenting because I don't live in the country any more - let me clear it out that I was living here before we went to live abroad. I have been a part of the daily rush. I have jumped in and out of trains and sped past stampeding crowds on railway platforms ;) I have been a part of the madness.

All in all this has me wondering if India would do well with a dictator at the helm. Or maybe even he would fail. There's a lot of money in the country but nothing for the common man. The population is now totally out of control so maybe that is yet another reason why any systems that are implemented fail every time?

But,

I was walking down a galli in the neighbourhood, in pouring rain. I tried to flag down a rickshaw but failed. As I trudged back home, I felt a strange sense of calm pervading my mind.

It felt like home :)