Weekly update #2

Medha’s first day of school

We were so excited for Medha on her first day of school. I couldn’t stop clicking her pictures and all of us got ready to drop her. The whole campus buzzed with excitement. The ceiling was covered in balloons; Soothing music played in the background; People dressed in costumes greeted the kids. Other parents were found to be clicking away pictures too. Medha told me she was full of “exatinement” (excitement!) as we dropped her.

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Not every kid looked as excited as Medha was about school. Many cried. Some still clung to their parents. Not my girl. She leapt off happliy from my arms into the welcoming embrace of her new school.

It’s the 3rd day today, but she went to her school as “exatined” as she was on the first.

Bombay Dyeing

Prasad and I recently bought our bedding from Bombay Dyeing. For about 8000 rupees (approx. $134) we purchased a couple of king-size bed-spreads, extra pillowcases, pillow cushions, sofa cushions and comforters. We snagged a few designer pillow covers for less than $2 each!

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We were bowled over by the pricing, stunning fabric colors and designs (contemporary and traditional Indian motifs). A one-stop shop, I found all the bedding I needed in one place. With a couple of kids it is so hard to shop around.  I am so in love with Bombay Dyeing now.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I loved Hermione more than the famous Harry Potter himself. She is such a know-it-all, and if she doesn’t know something she knows where to find it- the library. “When in doubt, go to the library.”, is what she does, according to Ronald Weasley, another character in the series. I’m such a nerd, I was thrilled when she signed up for all the subjects (Arithmancy, Astronomy, Divination etc.)  for her 3rd year at Hogwarts school for Witchcraft and Wizardry. Even though she is just a character, I long to become like her, reading widely and absorbing information like a sponge.

Harry suffers a dilemma in this book. He doubts his own identity. Is he the heir of Slytherin ( a house that has turned out more dark wizards than any other) after all, he questions himself. Despite being in Gryffindor (another house, to which even Ron and Hermione belong) , he is not sure of his goodness, his courage. The Sorting hat that sorts students into different houses did try to put him in Slytherin but , in the last minute, through Harry’s sheer will, decided to place him in Gryffindor.

In the end, Dumbledore, the principal, clears his doubts by saying, ” …. It is our choices, Harry, that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities. “, How profound is that! He might be capable of committing evil but he chooses to use his power for greater good, and that’s what matters in the end.

Loved this book. Onto the 3rd in the series- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Mango Season

There are mangoes everywhere. Mangoes flood our storage room and spill from boxes.  Trees laden with mangoes grow in our backyard and on our farm.

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The most relaxing part of my day is when the kids are fast asleep and I’m reading a book as I suck on a big, juicy Himayath (a mango variety that grows in our garden). When there’s a mango around, I don’t crave a sweet or ice cream. They are so sweet and fleshy that I don’t mind the annoying fiber that clogs the spaces between my teeth afterwards. I’m in love with these golden beauties ( and so are my kids) and wonder how I used to survive without their abundance in the US.

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Cafe Coffee Day

When my sister-in-law, Shruthi, was visiting from the US, we went to Cafe Coffee Day. Prasad and I shared a mug of Hazelnut Cappuccino which tasted (almost) as good as a Starbucks coffee. Shruthi’s “Devil’s Own”cold coffee was rich and frothy and tasted even better. We sat on comfy chairs as “All I want for Christmas….” played in the background. We were reminded of our evenings spent at Starbucks in the US. Even the ambiance made us feel we were in the US, even if it was for a short while.

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On a serious note, I miss having friends here. Who do I share my deepest secrets with? Who do I spill my excitement upon? Who will hear me out and lighten my burden? Apart from a few in my family, none! It’s a new place and I’m engrossed in caring for my little ones that I’m unable to pour effort and time into building new relationships. I’ll make sure I strengthen the ones I already have.

 

 

 

 

 

Moving back home

We just relocated to India from the United States. After a couple of years honeymooning and a few more years spent juggling parenthood in Tucson, we are back home. It was a big move that took years to plan and later execute. When one of us was sure of going back the other wasn’t ready. And then there was the issue of citizenship. We were on the verge of getting our Green cards and weren’t sure whether to wait for it or not.

We were pushed to action when our house got flooded due to a pipe leak when we were out vacationing in St. Louis. The walls and shelves had to be ripped apart; the flooring was removed. Most of our stuff was ruined due to water damage. We had to get the whole house repaired and renovated. Thank God our house was insured. Liberty Mutual, the insurance company covered all the cost of repair and loss. In no time our house was restored; in fact it looked even better than before with painted walls, granite countertops and brand new kitchen cabinets.

Now the question was whether to move back into our beautifully-restored home or to have it sold to execute a much-thought-of move to India. The easier thing to do would have been to quietly move back into our home and enter into a routine. But we hankered for more. For a change. Our house was market-worthy without us spending a dime. If we wished to sell, it was the right time to. We found a buyer immediately after we put the house on market.

Handing the ownership of the house where we had begun our journey as parents was tough. But we got through it. Even more difficult for me was bidding farewell to my dear friends. Faraway from home our friends had become our family too. The thought that I wouldn’t be seeing most of them again weighed me down. I got through that as well. It was time to pack our bags (and that was no less a headache!) and make another journey. To India.

I will always remember the US and the fond memories we created as a family there. It taught me so much about the world. It taught me so much more about myself. For that I will remain eternally grateful to that country and some of its people.

We are settling down in Hyderabad now. I’m enjoying the help that’s easily available. The kids are enjoying their grandparents’ attention. I feel we did the right thing by relocating to India ’cause there’s no place like home….