Month: April 2013

Project ‘On Two Wheels’

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Yuvan has had a huge interest in cycling from young, starting from his tricycle. The photo below shows how much ‘the Dad and the Son’ enjoyed the tricycle. Until today, if I can remember correctly, tricycle is the only one that broke because of usage and usage ONLY by Yuvan. I still remember the day I had to clear the broken tricycle out after holding on it for a few days out of attachment.

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Then, he moved on and got his bicycle with training wheels (definitely at a much younger age than the below photo, which I had just pulled out of our archive.)

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He was hooked on to it until 2 years ago, when scooter and roller blades became the priority. So the bicycle was quietly parked in the space next to our washing machine. On few occasions I had noticed that my helper had started using the attached basket to keep some stuffs..:p

Over the last three months, I suddenly became so anxious about Yuvan learning the ‘real’ cycling – ie on the two wheels without the training wheels. Though I had inquired about removing the training wheels and replacing it with a metal stand, it never happened. But this has been bugging me as I believed Yuvan should be able to cycle on two wheels at this age, if he gives it a try!!

The day finally arrived, as I sensed Yuvan was still in the “missing mode”, after Eash flew off to Taiwan on his official trip. I approached him with the idea. After a little hesitation, he got all excited and said “Yes” and off we went to the nearby bike shop. But we went one BIGGGGG round around the estate, him cycling with the training wheels and me brisk walking.

The guy at the bike shop was so kid friendly and had this following conversation :-

The Guy: “How may I help you, young man?”

Yuvan: ( took a while to answer ) “I would like to remove the side wheels.”

The Guy: “Are you ready for it?”

Yuvan: (shrugs)

The Guy: “Let’s do it now, a bit more comfortably for you…ok?” “Mam, would you like to have a side stand fixed as well?”

He also helped to raise the bicycle seat by 2 inches…

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And Yuvan did a careful curious inspection of the bike before we set of for our Day One trial on the trail which included a badminton court; play area and off-course the area below our block:)

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By the end of almost 1.30 hrs of trial and error, with my advice being “Try to get your balance first, Don’t be afraid and It’s OK to fall down!!”, he managed to cycle for a few minutes all by himself at a stretch. ( I did try to hold on to his bicycle a few times when he was trying to find his balance but then he worked it out himself.) It was so funny how he thought that the water bottle in the basket attached to his cycle caused some disruption to his balancing act!

And as we wound up our Day one, one of his foot pedal broke partially. So we made another visit the next day to the bike shop to change his foot pedals, the grips and the bell. And he choose everything in blue to match his cycle color scheme and he was so happy with his new look bicycle!!

project cycling collage 4And on day two, we started early and he was a much more confident cyclist with more balance and independent riding!! Touch wood and I am really happy and surprised that he picked it up quite quickly and he can now do the real ‘cycling’.

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He had been updating his Dad via texts about his cycling stint too and off course the Dad is super happy about this! What now? Project cycling will continue as “Practice makes a man!”

And one more proof of ‘kids will eventually do it’, when they are really ready physically and emotionally and it will happen naturally! Another reminder to myself on the same!!

Keeping up

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with the cultural values or for that matter traditional values are something I am keen but I am not up to the mark and we have been implementing a lot of it recently. Today is Tamil New Year and we started off with prayers at home. What preceded it was a Rangoli session, which Yuvan has taken interest in helping me ever since last Diwali. He likes to fill it up with colours. Ever since last Vinyakar Chathurthi he has been willing and interested to do part of the prayers and he did so today too!

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Puthandu (Tamil: புத்தாண்டு), or better known as Tamil New Year or Chithirai Tiru-naal, is the celebration of the first day of the Tamil new year    It is a time for celebrating new and prosperous beginnings. The 14th of April is the beginning of the first month Chittirai of the Tamil year (Vijaya year), which is celebrated as the New Year and is also known as “Chittirai Vishu”. Varusham is the Tamil word for “year” and ‘Pirapu’ can be translated as the “birth” or “beginning” or “commencement” of an event. The festive occasion is in keeping with the Hindu Solar Calendar.

According to Hindu mythology, on this day the Creator of the world Lord Brahma started creation. So what is generally done back home in India on Tami New Year Day?

  • House is thoroughly cleaned and doors and windows are decorated with festoons – especially leaves of mango.
  • After bathing, the eldest female member in the family starts the Puja arrangement.
  • Kolam or Rangoli is drawn; the Vilakku Kolam is the preferred one during the New Year.( Vilaku kolam is nothing but a kolam or Rangoli where lamps are drawn in different designs.)
  • If new clothes are distributed to family members, then it is arranged in front of the deity.
  • Neem leaf Pachadi is prepared. It is basically a mixture of jaggery, chillies, salt, neem leaf or flowers and tamarind. It symbolizes that life is a mixture of sweet and sour.
  • In places where Kanni is viewed, an elderly member guides others to the view the arrangement of auspicious things. This arrangement is usually done on the previous night.
  • In other places, all members wake up and take bath and receive new clothes.

Reference:- Wikipedia, http://www.hindublog.com

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I still can very much recollect the ‘neem flowers in Banana’, which we were supposed to eat on empty stomach at the temple on Telugu new Year which falls just a few days earlier. It is believed that it would cleanse the system as well the evils and make way for new beginnings!!! It used to be that we always visit my granny’s house, then the temple along with granny on the New Year’s Day. The neem flowers in banana was always served by granny, followed by a sumptuous meal at granny’s place.

Today’s temple visit was a contented one with Yuvan learning a few important things in temple, all because of his curious questions! And as per the tradition it has been a vegetarian meal at home!!!

I believe these little things will serve as a window to the culture, tradition and much more!

A Saturday morning at T3 !

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For many of you who are aware of Singapore’s airports, you would by now  have said Terminal 3! Yes, we were at terminal 3 this morning to see E off for yet another official trip.. Over the last year or so, we have fallen in love with T3 completely though we had known and felt T3 earlier. Termed as the biggest of the three terminals, I should say it is one of the beautiful as well! – with all its natural lighting design – thanks to the reflectors, little water fountains, the classy touch, overall everything is beautiful.

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The options to chill out and shop are very many too.. We always get our caffeine fix at the Coffee Bean – a nice open set up which makes it very comfortable. Yuvan loves to watch the baggage belt which can be seen from the departure hall. He loves his Ice-blend double chocolate from coffee bean. He likes to hop diagonally and across all over the black and ivory floor tiles!!

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It gives a nice feeling to see him enjoying it though I know he would be moody later throughout the day, as on every first fay of E’s trips. I love the place too.

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The other thing he loves to do in all terminals is — Give feedback as many times possible for the washrooms in the airport. He did that today too…:P

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He was so engrossed that he didn’t even realize  the first time I captured him on my phone, looking out at the concrete beauty after his feedback session!

Signs but with shock, surprise and guilt !

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Last Friday, I was home and was about to go and get ready to pick Y from his school. It was 12.25 pm and the door bell rang. As I opened the door, guess who stood outside? YUVAN!

The story was ..,apparently, it was an early dismissal day and I just cant believe that I had forgotten about it… May be because of the many things that were going on in my mind was a reason!! But I have never forgotten about things like this.. And I shouldn’t have in the first place!! (*slap* *slap*)

They were dismissed at 11.45 am and he had waited with his friend who also walks back to his home with my helper until 12.15 pm for my helper to turn up to pick him. He had then asked his friend to take care of his bag and gone to the general office to ring me. But from a distance he had seen them closing the door. (I am not sure why he didn’t go ahead and tell them and request to make a call ….) So he returned back and made the DECISION to walk home with his friend. And he did so, crossing two traffic signals – a good 5 minute walk!!!

When I saw him right in front of the door, as I opened the door, I should confess I had mixed feelings — guilt, proud and happy that he walked back home alone (I have always sensed that he is ready for that – but the mom in me is not ready yet!), utter shock and an unexplained fear!!!

Positives to take forward

1. He has done the right thing in a tricky situation.
2. Happy that he managed it well.
3. Showing signs that he is independent enough.
4. He has done his observation correctly.
5. I believe he followed the traffic rules.
6. One more pep talk about safety, strangers and security.(DONE)

Negatives to look back

1. As a mom I can’t let this happen again that too because of my negligence or for whatever reason it happened.
2. Revisiting priority check required. (Done!)
3. I can’t do this guilt trip again!

Love you Yuvan for what you are and do remember what we spoke after this!

When kids do the motherly act

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it’s such an amazing feeling! If you have experienced that, probably you would know what I am talking about!

I have experienced it a little here and there but yesterday was the highlight and I am still raving about it to myself and feeling great about the thought itself!

Yesterday, I was down with a severe back pain to the extent that I felt I had to visit the doctor rather than my remedy of balms.. Yuvan insisted that he needs to take care of me and he will accompany me to the doctor’s. But, finally going back to balm therapy is another story altogether.

I dozed off after that and when I woke up, he was sitting next to me and doing his work. And the first question he asked was, was I feeling any better?

He then told me ‘I know, you need strength to fight this off’. He went and got me dinner in a small bowl with the help of my helper and insisted I eat and fed me too.. Awww .. I am moved!! What else can I say? Love You Yuvan!!

The icing on the cake was when he asked me whether I have my laptop bag to bring to office the next day. I was puzzled and I said ‘No, just my hand bag!’ Guess what? He said ‘Tomo when we go to school, I shall carry your bag too so that you can get some rest and feel better!!’

Yuvan, I felt a lot better after your acts of kindness and knowing that you care for me makes me feel sooo sooo good!!

Touch wood! Touch wood!