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A violin recital

We interrupt the Deepavali / Diwali programming to bring you a violin recital.. the Little One (now she is a teen-y little one) did her recital as part of her music school. 

She knows this by heart, but was a little timid while playing. Getting used to a Piano that is not in your control can be an interesting experince, or so I thought.. 

Here is a video.. 

this was at the Valley Christian school. I had no idea that there is such a beautiful "school" overlooking the valley. This place was like brand new.. still amazed by the view from the school.. 

The little one is doing better every year.. the name of the game is to stay in the game. I keep telling her that! 

Here's to her keeping at it..


Possibilities - a conversation

We were talking about the election results while driving back from school, when Jr. is suddenly all moping.. 

Me : What happened now?

Jr. : Everyone in my class will get to vote in the next election except me! I am the only one who will not be 18 by Voting day in 2020. Do you know how bad that makes me feel?

Me : you will get to vote in 2022. Big deal

Jr. : Who wants their first vote to be in a midterm election? 

Me : If I were you, I would be happy to vote in any election. Reminded her of the story I had already told her about my voting experience...

Back story: The only time I got to vote in India being an Indian citizen was when I happened to come home to Chennai from Varanasi and it was election time. I went to the booth and the guy there told me "you have already voted. now disappear before something bad happens to you!". My grandpa scolded me for going to the booth alone, instead of showing some rightful indignation. That was when I was 18 (Chandrasekar was Prime Minister..it was a short lived tenure). I came to the US when I was 20 and the next time I actually voted was in 2006 as a US citizen in a midterm election and voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger! Have not missed voting since then. No one has told me that I have already voted or turned me back. I drop my mail in ballot at the Cupertino City hall a few weeks ahead of the election and can even track my vote. However I do hear that people go through things like what I went through in India, even today in the US elections in many places. 

Back to our conversation..

Jr. : Could you not have conceived me two weeks earlier? This is all your and amma's fault that I don't get to vote. 

I was suddenly silent and upset. There are people these days who schedule C-sections so their kids are born on an auspicious birth star, a certain Chinese zodiac year, before Dec 31st so they can claim a dependent on their tax return, etc. etc. ( know of all above cases).. but trying to beat the voting cutoff?! That is new!

Then I thought,  she was not a planned C-section. Her poor mom pushed and pushed all day and finally after she almost came out, she got stuck and it ended up an emergency C-section. 

Me : You were two weeks late and past your due date. Your origial due date was Deepavali, but you showed no signs of coming out. We were in the hosptal instead where your mom had to go through a baby stress test. You were under no stress. So they sent us back home. If this is anyones fault, it is your own. You should have been on time! 

I knew that was mean, but there comes a time in a mans life when he is just plain tired of being the fall guy. 

Later I tried to make up for the outburst... with some luck.

Midterms are important.. sometimes even more important than the Presidential elections.. please keep saying that people. I have other reasons to support that statement now.

As long as Jr. takes her vote seriously, I am a very happy and proud father! 


Happy Deepavali

Deepavali 2018 is almost here.. it is a bummer that it falls on a weekday but it will be celebrated, rain or shine!

San made some besan laddoo's and has a commitment to make some Gulab Jamun's.

Today I made some Omapodi.. 

San made a lot of laddoos.. but I already finished most of it in the last 24 hours.. by Deepavali night she might not have any left. 

This is not something I make every year. Was in a rush and did not grind the Chilli and Omam (Ajwain seeds) too fine. So some of them got caught in the nazhi (extruder) and I had to keep cleaning the holes to continue. Won't make that mistake again.

The end result is good. We still have two days to make more Deepavali bakshanams.

The little one comes out and tells me "we don't like oily stuff. it is mostly you and amma who are going to eat this!"

Sometimes you realize you have failed as a parent if your kids take this health stuff overboard! Deepavali comes once a year.. it is not every day that your dad labors in the kitchen to make this stuff..was going to launch myself into a lecture and decided to take the "fine.. just taste a little bit".. in hopes that the Savory Gene that has been passed on will do the trick..

Kids these days! bah! 

want to wish one and all a wonderful Deepavali! Deepavali is literally a celebration where the light of learning dispells the darkness of ignorance. 

Here's to light! 


Navarathri 2018

This year Navarathri came and went. . . and it took me a good 10 days to come up with this post.

It was another hectic 9 nights with only one weekend in the middle and that meant going and visiting friends across the bay area between Friday night and Sunday night.

At least I am here for this was the thought and don't have to travel. Then came Jr.'s marching band competitions and the picking up and dropping off for that meant I got to visit even less folks than usual.

Did not do the saraswathi pooja and Vijayadasami prayer this year. San's chinna paati passed away. The golu we usually attend at MIL's cousins place was always one of the grandest. Almost every large scale display of dolls reminded me of her and conversations with her. Just did not feel like doing any pooja this year. 

Did go see some Golu(Kolu's) with San, and took pictures. This year, wanted to take photos of unique dolls in the displays that were not seen in other displays. It was a larger list and eventually a lot of the redundants were taken off the list. 

Some of these are tiny dolls that are only a few inches tall but have some amazing detail.. 

Here are a few of my favorites..

The full displays and the other unique pics are in the slideshows below..


Also learned of the new and improved Snapseed App (thanks to Raja Ramki) and played with some of the pictures with that app. It was how I spent time while waiting at airport gates last week. Given all the photos were taken on the iPhone X, made it easy.. 

Another year has come and gone. The kids showed a lot less interest in visiting folks this year than previous years. 

Next year I hope the festival falls over two weekends and there are less conflicts!


Halloween 2018

This year Halloween was interesting.. a busy day. There was a potluck planned at work. I forgot to tell San about the potluck and she packed my lunch. Once I got to work and realized the Potluck was on, called the local Indian store and got some of my favorite samosas. The guy says minimum tray order is 50 samosas and I go "okay". 

Now we still have 15 or so left at home. 

We had the kids dress up as a scarecrow and a devil but the little one does not want her photo on the blog. So this year there will be only one picture.. 

She made that stuff up herself with no help from anyone. 

They went trick or treating with different friend groups. But one thing they have been doing for years?

Grab a lot of dads favorite candy (or the ones he can eat safely with no peanuts).. Twix and Milky ways.. 

This was waiting for me on the table !!!

Daddy is happy that he has his candy.. then again, all Twix are not created equal. Some of the Twix are old and some are new.. 

Have a bag of candy at work always.. Eat one for a post lunch snack every day. . . one of lives little pleasures. 

This will add to that post lunch bag and it was collected with a lot of love from my darlings!