Sunday, January 29, 2006

Are we there yet?

What the heck, we will be late for the meeting by only two hours - is the attitude of the people living here. I love it. But, I don't think I can do it. The last ten years of my lifestyle has tuned me to do something always (if possible productive) . It will take me another ten years to un-do it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Can we take along?

Mom: Ok, lets go..
Chotu: No!
Vin: She's so cute..
Chotu:Ya, mom can we take her home?
Mom: Ok, common lets go..
Chotu:No! Mom , you go. Bye

Monday, January 23, 2006

One of those violin class trips..

Vin: What is O2?
Me: Oxygen
Vin: What is H2?
Me: Hydrogen.
Vin: We all know H2O, is there O2H2?
Me: Yeah. There is OH too, it is called alcohol.
Vin: Awww. Is this the smoking alcohol?
Me: Yeah, that is the bad Alcohol.
Vin: Do people in India drink alcohol?
Me: Yess.
Vin: Is alcohol bad for body?
Me: Once in a while, after 18, it is not that bad.
Vin: OH! so I will have alcohol after 18 once in 5 Years.
Me: Oh!
Vin: Well my friend "X" drinks wine.
Me: There are some festive occasion in Churches, that sometimes the Father of the church gives wine.
Vin: I am an American, I can go to Church and get some wine.
Me: Yeah, You are an American born to Hindu parents. So you are Hindu.
Vin: I guess, I have to wait until I am 18.
Me: (Oh! my god..)
Vin: I will get married to Ash and then come back to America.
Me: When you grow up and when it is time and when you both like each other , then you can get married.
Vin: I like Ash now.
Me: If you like someone, it doesn't mean you marry them. Any ways long ways to think about it.
Vin: Yeah...
Me: (Thank god it is only 15 minute drive to Violin class, otherwise I would not know how to answer his questions)

Once in India, my mom made "Bobbatlu" (sweet chapatis), Vin loved those.While I was putting him in bed, he asked me:
Vin: Mom! we need to ask ammamma (Grandma) this recipe. I need to learn how to make "bobbatlu and make it for my family.
Vin: You know, once I get married and have kids and all. They are awesome. I need to learn.
Me: Giggles. Ok Kanna. We will ask ammamma tomorrow for the recipe.

It is cute to hear such stories, but it concerns me of his planning. I don't even plan for tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Vennetlo Godari Andam.. (The beauty of river Godavari in Moonlight)

The fertile delta between the River Godavari branches is most depicted in Telugu movies as lush green villages. My friend Sai and her husband are from around here. So, we put in a request to Sai and Vissu (Sai's DH) for a short trip. Itwas worth every second spend there. We (we four, my MIL, Sai and Vissu) rented a Qualis (10 seater) one Saturday early morning (3:00AM) and hit the road towards the great konaseema. It is also refereed as East and West Godavari. It was a 8 hour drive with beautiful sceneries. We spoke, ate, sang, stopped for bath room breaks for Vin and Chotu along the way. We finally reached Sai's Uncle's place.
We were received very very cordially, (it is one of the characteristics of konasemma-hospitatliy, is given high importance). We visited Sai's grand fathers house - a small thatched (with coconut leaves) mud house, with a huge backyard (10-15 acres if you must know) of agricultural lands. The old couple manage the whole thing. We got Vissu to climb up a ladder and get us some sweet coconuts and briefly looked at Cabbage, drum sticks and few other vegetable gardens. After the refreshments (fresh coconut water and pulp) we headed to visit the villages along the river banks. We stopped in a village called Kapileswaram where there is a "Veda Patasala" that DH heard about earlier. This school is run by a rich Zamindaar (Land Lord) for girls to learn "Hari Katha". It is a four year degree for students with good music and Abhinay skills after high school. The students reside in the premises and learn music, dance etc., from very famous visiting faculty along with the resident gurus. The girls sang 3 songs for us. It was simply melodious and divine.
We were asked to look at Zamindaar's residence and we had to leave in a hurry because we promised the kids a boat ride on the Godavari and it was getting dark. Finally we managed to reach the "revu" and boarded the boat that is rowed by a single man (our hero). That was a scary moment for a while, we all could not move, because the boat would loose its balance even if we moved slightly. Chotu was getting restless. It almost got dark and we could see the real beauty of river Godavari in the Moon light. It was the most beautiful evening I would never forget.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The best of the two worlds

World A:
You get best filtered coffee.
Dosa/Idli/Upma for breakfast.
Very short days.
People, people, people everywhere.
Honks, dust, smoke, traffic jams.
Colorful outfits, different languages.
Head and feet are always on the ground.
Smiles, tears, pain, spiritual, anger, relations etc.,
Small day-to-day life hurdles.
Diversified economic sections.

World B:
Very quite mornings.
Bagle/10 grain cereal/Protein bar for breakfast.
Long uneventful day.
Hardly see anyone.
Plain ride, foggy mornings, fresh air, and smiley faces.
Optimistic, ambitious, goals oriented.
The same feeling of no feeling everyday.
Not so diversified economic sections.
Dreams come true.

I love my worlds.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Back to home from home!

Had a wonderful trip! Had tons of fun. I don't know where to begin, so will just write as it comes to my memory (no chronological order). The first thing I did, after I landed (of course after refreshing) in India, I surprised my friend (Sai) by going straight to her work. It took her one day to recover from it. I spent most of the time on this trip in Interior Designing of a single bed-room apartment. I don't like to call it Interior Decoration for some reason. For most of you who don't know my background, I am an Architect by training and never practiced officially other than few design suggestions to friends and relatives.
We have a single bed-room apartment close to my MIL's place (Mother-In-Law) that is by all means must have been designed by the contractor himself or a Civil Engineer or by a compromised Architect. The bed room has no ventilation except for a small opening into the shaft. They were cement shelves in each room and the floor was marble got a Wow! effect in the family. The half dying Architect in me shouted aloud, Help Me! (quite dramatic ha). Any ways so walked to Sai's (practicing Architect) office and said and I need some renovation done to my apartment. She was like, "OK - What do you want to do with it". I need to cover those shelves and do something with the bed-room lighting. It took two days for us to meet with their Interior Designer. I told him what I exactly wanted done to the apartment. He didn't expect a very decisive client who is an Architect by training at first, later we understood each other very well. I designed the whole thing, Sai implemented it in Auto-CAD and the ID (Interior Designer) suggested the labor and materials. You need to have lot of patience and money management skills to get work done. You need to be there 24 X 7 while the work is going on, otherwise things turn out to be just the opposite of what you want :) Ma'am this looks great! Moi, No! I want it like this was the quote of the month. Meanwhile DH (Dear Husband) was getting fits with my construction/renovation budget. It looks great already what are you doing to it? Huh! Please wait until it is done- me on the other end, miles away trying to convince him of my Architectural abilities. It is a three-week story, I will post some tidbits later meanwhile enjoy the pictures. At the end the single-bed/single-bath turned out to be a cute double-bed/double-bath apartment. I was happy to have completed it with utmost satisfaction and so was everyone including DH.