Didn't find it?
RSS feed from Feedburner

 Subscribe to this Blog ?

 

Sundar Narayanan's Travelog

↑ Grab this Headline Animator

 

Just another spider on the web
Squarespace
Powered by Squarespace
Archives
Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
Navigation

Entries in little one (131)

Sunday
Nov112018

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..

Sunday
Oct282018

A toothbrush, napkin wrapper and an evening of shopping

Could have titled this post "three conversations" but that would be bland..

On recent Asia trips, I have started a new habit. Take the toiletries I use in the hotel room and put them in by backpack every day.. then bring them home, use them a few more times before throwing them. My little contribution to the "green earth" campaign? Actually not! 

A colleage told me that he saw a youtube video where the folks who come clean the rooms in star hotels in Asia, were caught on hidden camera, using the guest's toothbrushes in the toilet just out of spite. "Why take chances?" was my logic.

Came back from the trip and was about to throw the comb and brush (which had squished itself in my backpack and was not usable anymore) into the bathroom bin, and saw teh green glow of the sanitary napkin wrapper under the bin lid. Given my jet lag and my inclination to randomly burst out at my wife and kids for 24 hours after the trip, either when woken up or when asked to do pick up drop offs where I see myself unfit for driving, this wrapper put me on high alert. So the next day I was doing everything, as my usual being extra nice to my wife routine. Did not talk back, accepted last minute schedule changes, etc. I was tired and pissed off in general, but was okay with it.

Then we have a conversation where my wife asks me do take the kids somewhere, at the last minute and I said "fine!". My kids were genuinely suprised by this. After she left the house, they asked "what is going on?". She has asked you to do things quite at the last mintue since yesterday and you have been accepting this. This is the third time just today... Did you do something wrong? 

Me: Look, your mom has also been tired as I have been gone for a week. She is going through a busy time at work, has been doing all the driving by herself and also she is "aathula illai"!

"aathula illai" literally translates to "she is not in the house" and figuratively means "she is on her periods". The kids were rolling and laughing out loud. When I asked them why, they tell me that the only remaining box of pads was in our bathroom, and when they go to our bathroom to grab pads, they unwrap and put the cover and stickers in our bin.  The joke was apparently on me and I was being extra nice for no reason... I was going to ask "wait, how long has this being going on?" and was about to lecture them on the importance of using their own bin for their own trash as it is sending me wrong signals, and decided.. yeah, the joke was on me. It was okay to be nice to San even if for all the wrong reasons.

So I throttled back on the nice a little bit. I still had jet lag. An attempt to do yoga to fight jet lag ended up with me running out of the hot room to get rid of stomach acid and I really was unable to fight the afternoon nap, which ended up being more than a nap. 

I walk around after this "nap" in zombieland and overhear the wife and kids having a conversation about what to do on our 20th wedding anniversary. Instead of walking on by, made the mistake of blurting out,  "lets go somewhere local so we can have a day out and come back home by evening and celebrate dinner at home with family and friends"... the looks.. oh the looks I got in response! They were planning something else.. then the kids look at me and ask "wait ! isn't this YOUR anniversary as in both of you? so why is Amma planning something on her own. She said it is HER anniversary" . My response was "she is giving herself an award for putting up with me for 20 years! I might not even be invited to the celebration and won't be surpised if that happens!" 

This is shortly followed by me being asked to come along on a shopping trip. Went very very reluctantly because I was guilted into coming. Was answering phone calls outside a shop and was busy taking pictures of a crow inside the mall when we decided that one kid should go with each parent to shorten the shopping time.

Walked around with Jr. and found out through some Matlock / Colombo style detective work that she was going to go on a banquet with her Marching band and was planning to buy a "dress" for it. She tried some stuff and was not happy. Then I told her "it is cold out. you are doing straight to a dinner and coming back. just wear a nice shirt and a good sweater on top, which you have plenty of, no?" and she says "you are right. I will do that. it is a good idea!"  I was really surprised. Would I in this lifetime see my daughter become a value shopper like me? would she ever bargain with multiple vendors to find the base price and do a deal where they still make money and she would get a good deal? My head was racing with the possibilities!

Then we are having dinner and the little one says "I am Appa!".. I was a little confused. Is this some "We are with Paris" type thing she is starting, to make me feel better?! Turns out, she just realized that she eats just like me.. Her friends were telling her that she eats like a camel by moving her lower jaw out and she was watching me eat and realized she does the same thing. So, it wasn't some kind of solidarity movement. Just a bitter realization, but she was smiling and was giving me a "Guess there is no escaping the genes!" look. 

Later,  San shows me a few sarees online to see which ones I liked. Picked three on the a vs. b choices she gave and she said ...all those are old lady sarees. they are not "chinna ponnu" sarees... (Chinna Ponnu is little girl quite literally). On the one hand we have the bearded me trying to tell the world he is done with looks and has accepted his age while we have a chinna ponnu with two chinna ponnu's under the same roof. I did not even respond to that comment and just nodded, thinking "The generation gap between us is increasing rapidly!" 

Have realized over the last few months that it doesn't take much to make myself happy. I can be alone and reset myself. Can stare at myself in the mirror and come out with a "don't care" attitude. Feels more and more like I am forcing myself through the daily routines, as part of a responsibilty and commitment but take no joy in certain things like chauffering or even shaving anymore. San hates the chauffering equally as she does my beard. 

The life cycle was explained to us in middle school as a four stage process.. first stage, bachelor hood, 15 years of studying and being a good boy, then 15 years of married life and having kids, then 15 years of living in the forest and the last 15 of being an ascetic renouncing stuff. Now that retirement age keeps rising, even the Wikipedia entries for the four ashramas are being pushed to 24 freaking years each!!! I don't think I will live past 70 anyways, so the whole thing is messed up.

Maybe I have reached that stage in life where one is supposed to say bye to everyone and walk into the forest alongwith my wife, to live out our last years? Don't think "chinna ponnu" is likely to follow me into any forest anytime soon, or even a national park for that matter. It was my dream to rent an RV and just visit every national park in the continental US, go on long hikes and take time to photograph sunsets, with no time limit to come back to the parking lot. San used to share that dream, given we both liked long road trips before we had kids. I used to haul my camera bag and she used to carry my tripod and walk with me to watch / capture the sunset. Now I don't think all the time in the world is going to be enough for me to get to those same locations we visited before, from even the closest parking lots carrying that camera bag! 

My family tells me that my battery is low. I am not excited for anything anymore. I don't know why! Maybe I need a career change. Maybe all this travel has turned me into an emotionless lump. Maybe I am just too tired to fight the good fight on a daily basis. Maybe yoga has turned me into a very inward person who has become extremely selfish subconsciously (not my theory). Maybe I need some Glucon-D or Cinkara ?! (see, there is still a funny guy somewhere in there).

Still writing down these odd little conversations,  because this is what life is about in my eyes.. things kids say and do, how we evolve as children, as parents, how a mundane or not so mundane routine impacts us in ways that are deep, lifes little victories and defeats, perceptions right and wrong,  all over a span of few days, sometimes a few hours! 

A lot less grumpy today and the routine continues. Have to make an effort to find my interest in everyday things back to that stage where every little thing that my wife or kids did filled me with amazment and wonder. It is not their issue, it is clearly a waning of my ability to see the magic that is happening in front of my eyes. Need those special glasses back...

It will happen!

Wednesday
Mar212018

Progress.. slow and steady

No.. not a yoga post.

The little one continues her violin practice and has definitely made progress, the slow and steady way!

Her cooking interests take a priority over other things but she does practice twice a week at least. 

Over the weekend she performed at a Violin and Viola festival at Trinon Theater in downtown San Jose. Given I have stopped watching her in class because of my travel schedule and meeting schedule now overlapping her class... it was a treat to watch the improvement!

If you watch your kid every week, maybe not easy to see the improvement.. Watch her play after almost 6 months and you go "wow! that is a lot better now!"

There was a large group of students from multiple music schools who played 10 songs in the end for the audience. One interesting thing they did was play the theme from Game of Thrones with a Karaoke track in the background. I hope none of these kids are watching that serial as most of them are 10th graders or lower. I tried watching it on United when I got upgraded to Biz class once after hearing so much about it from other folks who are fans. Had to turn it off after a few minutes because of the violence and sex. The entire thing was pretty much that.

They played that well though!

Hope the kids keep up their engagement with music. It is not easy to post anything on Youtube which has copyrighted material. They promptly stop the video and I have to go agree to things before it comes online. However same thing is not true for content from my blog that gets copied over! Sad.. bigly sad. That is the world we live in.

where were we? Yes. Violin playing... 

Here is to many more years of music in the kids lives!

Saturday
Feb242018

A dinner to remember

The little one and her friend had done a "cook for family" thing during lunch last year and I missed it. They repeated the "cook for family" and this time it was dinner.

The two seventh graders had planned this over a week. They cooked for four plus hours yesterday and we were treated to an amazing dinner. 

The macaroons were just amazing and they made the tomato soup just for me because the butternut squash soup had some ingredients that were on my allergy list.

Every dish was made with so much care and served with precision and love! 

We thoroughly enjoyed the food and the effort put into this by the kids. I had happy tears, when I saw the tomato soup and their reason for it..

Tuesday
Nov282017

Never pick your middle aged dad to help with assignments

Jr. learned that lesson over the weekend when she asked me to videotape her baking for a school assignment. Given she wanted a "high quality" video, I used the 5D for the video shoot while being worried that it had a focus issue. Luckily shot it with the 70-200 mm lens which seemed to work fine. 

The only mistake she made was in picking me to do the video. I stressed her out with a lecture on the value of money, trying to be perfect, not waste things, be fast etc. Pretty much micromanaged the thing and lectured her. It is not easy to work with me or work for me.. or live with me for that matter. So while watching this video I realized that I owe my wife, kids, friends and colleagues and especially my boss an apology for being so pushy and demanding and being obsessive compulsive in a lot of ways. The only people who are immune to this influence are my yoga teachers and yoga buddies. 

At the end of it, the cookies came out very tasty. The little one helped big time in being moral support for Jr. as well as coming in and providing her expertise in fixing mistakes during the baking process. 

The smiles say it all!