Category Archives: Festivals

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Pattu's Pookkalam - she did this all by herself

Oram po…rukkumani vandi varudu

Chettiar Kadai

Row Houses and Park

Temple on the hill

Adi Shankara and disciples near the forest

Painted CDs for Kolam

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Happy Deepavali

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Here’s wishing you all a sparkling Deepavali and a safe one as well!

Pattu is excited but still a bit scared of crackers. I think she’ll stay indoors and we’ll do with a few sparklers and flower pots as usual.
MIL has made some yummy snacks and the deepavali lehiyam is cooking as I type. I used to hate this as a child but I quite like it now, in fact more than the sweets and snacks.

I was talking to Apu yesterday and we were discussing how Deepavali was so different when we were young. The early morning oil bath, who’s first to break the dawn with ‘saram vedi’ (crackers), new dress, bakshanam that was made at home (sweets and snacks), lehiyam and discuss how many burst atom bombs (one of the expensive crackers) and how some were fortunate enough to have two new dresses for deepavali. Budgets for crackers were fixed and we used to ration our stock to last till the night. I used to show off by lighting kuruvi vedi and oosi vedi with my hands (and delight that some boys didn’t dare to do that).

All these were novelty at that time.Today, the new clothes and bakshanam are no longer exciting as they are available round the year. Wonder what Deepavali stands for the kids of today… Pattu is too small, so I can’t really tell. What probably excites her is that we are all at home with her and there’s something special happening…

So, what’s your Deepavali story?

Christmas Goodies

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Christmas coupled with half yearly holidays seems to have a lot in store for the kids and the parents.

The Little Theater’s Pantomime at the Museum Theater, Egmore sounds like a must see. There is a 3 PM show as well on 11th, 12th and 13th – hoping to go (remembering the last time I proposed something like that and the rain gods disposed!). Well, one doesn’t stop hoping.

There’s Dakshinachitra Anniversary followed by their Margazhi Fest. There’s Plan B – A new circus show at Sir Mutha Venkatasubbarao Hall on Dec 17th and 18th – would like to catch up on these as well (Err…I’m on the edge where Hope meets Greed). Not to mention the Landmark Sale

Kaanchana Paati is organising a Workshop on Film Making for kids 8 yrs +. Wow!  idiscoveri  has story telling and art & craft sessions…. 

And then there’s a lot more going on at the usual kids’ haunts – Vanilla, Hansel & Gretel, Baby’s Day Out, etc. Get. Set. Go.

Btw, Pattu would like to know if Santa Claus Ummachi will give her a gift if she is a good girl. 

Ban the Paparazzi

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What do you do when strangers click snaps of your kids in public places? I’ve faced this quite a few times at shopping malls, beach, temples etc. Luckily Pattu is shy and refuses to pose. The other day, some college guys at the beach were trying to get Pattu to pose and I had to politely tell them that she is shy and they should leave her alone. No matter how decent looking they are, I feel very uneasy about it. Similar incident at the shopping mall – this time I realised only after the picture was clicked. They were a sweet looking young couple and I felt very awkward to say anything so just smiled and moved away.
I am also quite uneasy with the too friendly Annas at the department stores … I’ve just started telling Pattu to be careful with strangers.

Btw, if you still haven’t made your weekend plans, check out Lets Do Something.

They have some workshops planned for the moms and the kids have some incentive to be there as well. They are having a digital photography workshop, embroidery sessions and robotics workshops for older children coming up soon. Salsa will also be added soon along with the western dance that they already have.
Forum Art Gallery also has workshops for kids. They also have some Christmas fun coming up.

Games, Thumbs, Eco Cards and a Runny Nose

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We’d been to Lets do Something for a Traditional Indian Games workshop they had organised along with Kreeda. I wasn’t too hopeful about Pattu’s enthusiasm but then she did surprise me a bit by exploring all of the games there. However her attention span was way too short to complete the games that she started.

The Thumb paintings continue to excite Pattu and we made a Thumb card for (psst…secret). And while on secret, that’s the latest with Pattu these days. She would take me aside and say, ‘Amma, I’ll tell you a secret’ and whisper some gibberish into my ears and we both exchange meaningful glances.

And while on cards, we collected some dry leaves, flowers and sand and made a card for Paati who is away at Mumbai. Kaarthigai was a rushed affair as Paati wasn’t here to help. I had to rush back from office to light the lamps – It was cut short by a drizzle. Pattu was excited to see the Aanai velakku (the traditional elephant lamp in brass that is passed on from generations – it is one of my favourites too). Apparently, many years back the children were given this to play with (they have wheels and can be dragged around). Depending on how wealthy the family is, the elephants are adorned with Gold, silver, precious and semi precious stone maalai! And the kids played dress up (there’s a lady sitting on the elephant with a diya in her hand) with these. Imagine!

And after a lot of excitement over the ‘Pitterpattering’ of rain drops on the window pane, Pattu has a runny nose and fever. Planning an Indoor theme for this weekend.

Navratri, Golu, Etc

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Been quite busy shopping for Navratri and Golu. I just love this shopping – picking up little gifts for everyone…the nine types of sundals for the nine days have been decided… and who will visit when etc has been decided.

Finally, Golu has also been assembled. I really enjoy this festival more than the others. I think this is one of the few festivals that gives you a chance to be creative, the rest are mostly focused on ‘food’ and ‘ritual’.

Though Golu was assembled on Friday, the hill temple and the park/ forest
/ farm… (well, it has some nice park benches, some wild animals and some farm animals..they all had to be accommodated within that space) got ready only today. Have soaked ragi seeds in advance so that they sprout on time to make the hill/ park green. So, am ‘happy tired’ today. Will post some pics of this soon…

Pattu somehow hasn’t caused damage to the Golus so far – she’s seen three already. This time she was up with me till 12.30 AM (No wonder actually – that’s usual time) and quite excited. She sat on the Golu padi like a golu bommai and then she sat along with some of the golu bommais. After putting up all the dolls, had to tell her not to disturb the ummachi’s since they would be sleeping – she asks, ‘why are they standing and sleeping’ …well, I wasn’t quite prepared for that and attempted a sad, ‘that’s their style’ kind of an explanation. It wasn’t convincing enough, obviously.