Zoya and Maya

Zoya is very busy these days playing with her cousin, Maya. Maya is 4 and goes to school here in Bangalore. But she has been on Christmas vacation since we came to Bangalore a few weeks ago. It has been amazing watching Zoya interact with Maya.

They enjoy making up games, take long walks around the house and find things to collect in plastic bags, have super long baths together in the tub, watch winnie the pooh DVDs, create art with paint, sand-play downstairs in the play area and they even take breaks from each other… i’ll find them both reading/playing by themseleves from time to time. Its such a joy to see the 2 of them play in this relaxed way. They rarely have any issues… mostly they just want to do what the other is doing. So i make sure we have 2 of everything. They eat at the same time and will coordinate their clothing as well.

Maya’s mom, Sushma, is my younger sister. She is pregnant and due in a few weeks. Maya has gotten to the point where she stays over night at my parents home (Sushma’s home and my parents home is only 20 minutes apart by car) without her parents.

Zoya and Maya are watching songs from Swades and drawing with pencils in the front room. They pretend-play a lot and can collaborate and create games out of thin air. They just need some happy facilitators around.

This one is for Ashwin

We, Raghu, Zoya and me, were traveling with my sister-in-law, Anagha, and her 2 boys, Ashwin and Shreyas to a rock-climbing place in NJ. We were listening to a Costco-bought Little People- Alphabet- cd from FisherPrice. One of the songs is “I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee. Won’t my mommy be so proud of me.”

Ashwin chimed in with a version he had heard from some girls while riding the school bus… “I’m bringing home a baby dinosaur. I hope my mommy kicks me out the door.” It was silly and we all laughed. My 2 kept singing that new version for days.

Fast forward to yesterday… i had not realised how much Zoya had figured out by that one re-wording of a song. She now refuses to sing the song in the original… and wants to re-word every song and add a dinosaur or some new word… then she laughs like crazy. Its been hilarious. I think until Ashwin sang that song it had not occurred to Zoya that lyrics could be changed…. although Raghu is known to change lyrics too, just like his dad 🙂 I think the ‘mommy kicking me out the door’ bit was the part Zoya connected with!

The Raghu-Weasley Star Awards

Raghu and I have been watching a lot of Harry Potter movies. My dream right now is to be able to sit up all night and watch all the movies back to back. Of course its a lot more fun when my little sis (the one who is expecting her first child in a couple of weeks) chimes in with little tidbits of info that allow me to comprehend the details in the story better. And she tends to be asleep for most of the day and night these days.

Anyway, today while watching the Chamber of Secrets, Raghu and I both commented at the same time how much we love the Weasley Home and its atmosphere. If you don’t remember their house… see the early part of this movie before the kids depart for Hogworts. Its when Harry sees the house for the first time and calls it Brilliant.
Comfy, earthy, crumbs can find hiding spots, lots of interesting things to look at, warm and cosy etc… were some of the observations. Then Raghu said “its just like Sandra’s house”. There is a comfort to having a home that feels lived-in and cosy and has interesting nooks everywhere. So Sandra… if you are reading here…. Raghu says to award your home the Raghu-Weasley Star for “most interesting home” 🙂

Language funnies

Zoya has been saying “he” when referring to females. And we’ve not been able to shake it…. Raghu especially gets exasperated… we think its cute.. but he thinks she needs to know better by now. Anyway… while sitting in the car on our way to a restaurant Zoya referred to her 4 year old cousin, Maya, who was sitting next to her, as ‘he’. Maya very nicely told Zoya that she should say ‘she’ because she is a girl.

Zoya said “I cannot say that because ‘she’ is only in the bathroom” This flummoxed me for a second and then I burst into laughter. In Kannada a word that sounds the same as “she” means ‘poop’ 🙂

So Zoya was being very thoughtful and politically correct for a child exposed to multiple languages and who does not get the difference in languages yet. She can’t identify which language we are speaking in… she uses all the words she knows as one big language. We speak Hindi, Kannada and English.. and we switch languages almost every other sentence.


This morning i realised that we all slept by 10 and woke up around 6. Not bad after many nights and afternoons of jetlag induced naps.

Raghu asked me to open a packet of salted peanuts which led to him requesting some salted, roasted cashews and then he started to say something about airplanes (which is where the salted peanut packet came from).. which then led to this question: “amma, which is heavier… metal or aluminium?” I replied that metal is like fish… a group word… so aluminum, iron, steel etc are metals… i was unable to remember more metals and he added tin and steel. then he said tin is lighter than iron… and that he got that observation from Iron Man… which led to a discussion of the suit the guy built for himself in the movie etc.

This entire conversation must have lasted about 10 minutes. It was so satisfying and amusing and interesting to see the connections, path of conversation topics etc. This morning i’m able to write it out… but these conversations happen often and by the time i get to write at the comp… i’ve forgotten the exact thread/topics adn connections.

The night again…

Its 3am and Raghu, Ravi and i are listening to the Doors and working on our DS or computers. I watched Raghu play Prince of Persia and am now watching him be Lara Croft. Raghu bought me tissues and ravi got me hot water in my Dunkin Donuts travel mug… i’m still battling the virus.

I have only just managed to write down the first recipe from our Monkey Platter Festival cook-indian day.

Ravi and i just noticed that daybreak is imminent. Its 6 am and Raghu’s long-standing wish has come true 2 nights in a row…”staying up all night” 🙂
So we asked Raghu if he’d like to go to our terrace and see the sun rise. He lifted his head from his DS play and looked out the window quickly and asked: “Is it on”?

I’ve managed to do a lot of comp stuff in the past 2 hours… thanks to ravi’s company and music choices… we went on to listen the Cars, Bangles, Silsila, Yuva and are now listening to Rock On…. a raghu selection.

N i g h t … what a lovely word

I’m typing out “night” and looking at it anew. Its a beautiful word.
I’ve been reading “Writing down the Bones” by Natalie Goldberg and her book has my head swimming with her images of Taos, words in general sound heightened and am feeling oneness with the world. Um… maybe some of it also has to do with the chocolate diet i’ve been on these past few days. I’ve rediscovered Maltesers during our recent long layover at Heathrow airport.

I love “Singing in the Rain”… a simple story line… but boy do i wish i could dance like those 3! Its an awesome movie in my books. I love the songs and tap-dancing.. is it? I gotta look it up. I just finished watching it while Raghu played Blues Clues for dollar stock up… its a game where there are multiple ways to earn money and eventually use your dollars to buy some stuff at the gift-shop.

Raghu slept straight out from 3pm till 11 pm today… he woke up refreshed and wondering whether it was morning… LOL. We tried to break up the jet-lag mode but i guess his body is still adjusting. So Raghu and I are still awake. I’m glad i had a nap this afternoon! Night time is definitely interesting. We can hear the dogs barking away in the distance and some crows are still caw-ing. I served Raghu a large Uttappa with browned onion slices, mushrooms and paneer. He had asked for chips… i said sure…. then i offered to cook something for him in case i get too sleepy to do that later… and he said yes and described what he wanted.

I’m still down with a sore throat and cold. Kids are still down with remnants of coughs. So i’m putting off my recipe posts for the monkey platter festival folks and other trip related posts. I promise to do it soon.

Raghu and Zoya counted out some coins and were dividing them up today. I was not able to hear their conversations but Raghu mentioned that they wanted to earn some money and that it was very hard to do that. So I offered to pay them 10 rupees each for a few small chores around the house. They each worked hard at unpacking with me adn putting things away etc for about 20 minutes! It was interesting that they wanted to earn money. So they both earned 10 rupees each and were very happy. I guess those video games inspire all sorts of things.