Information & Blog Overload

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Nov 30th 2009

Have you ever tried to look up something on google, only to be returned with 35,000 search results? The one time I don't mind that is when I look myself up :) It is a different story that only 10 of those search results pertain to me, but who is counting. And the one time I absolutely hate it is when I am looking up a recipe. C'mon really how many ways can there be to make a simple daal or a sabji?

But then I can just pick the first recipe I feel reasonable and go on. But noooooooo. I have to read at least 10 to make sure I have the best recipe possible and have not missed any *secret* ingredient. Just like women, who have to check out the sarees in all the stores in the surrounding area before they come back to the very first store and pick the very first saree that caught their eye. Easier if we did that in the first place right :P But then if we did not look *thoroughly* how can we be assured that that one is the absolute best? Something men will never understand.

Back to the point, and then in the process of this recipe lookup, I stumble upon some blogs that are just amazing. I need to swoon looking at the template and in some cases the photos of the food, and in many many cases at the passion and zeal with which many of these people maintain their blogs. Preconceived notion again, when I see a simply amazing blog that is well updated, in my mind I make this excuse "This person surely must be working on this full time, and not work outside the house, maybe does not have kids, or else how come?". And how I am proved wrong again and again. Many of them are working full time with more than one kid and do this as a hobby to my wonder. The factors I sometimes use in my life as excuses, fuel these individuals to do more! It just means, 24 hrs is all everyone got - what you do with yours and what ranks high up the priority list, is your call!

Straddling the fence

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

Nov 12th 2009

This post is the result of being on one side of the fence, i.e. playing the role of a mother who works outside the house too. And of course from attending some work-life balance seminars and reading too much stuff on the net. Before I had my child I always thought that I would stay at home with my children and never work. I have valued my mother staying at home for us, though she had an MBA and I think we are what we are today to a large extent because of that. But it was not to be, due to various circumstances of course but also because of my own acceptance of the situation. Of that I have no doubt whatsoever. Today I have made peace with where I am, however I constantly think about if I would be happier any other way and also how I can make the best of what I have.

Of course I would be happier if I had more time with V, of that I have no doubt. But I also realize that I probably would not very happy if I were to only do that all the time. And not because I would feel that I am not doing justice to my degree or feel less respected but more because it is quite challenging and lonely to be with a child 24/7 and not have any other adult interaction. I would be perfectly happy being a stay at home mom if I could also have some time for my other adult interests but that is not to be when you have a child to care of, and I cannot even think of daycare or getting someone else to watch him when I would be at home. This is where the caregiver is vital for the mother’s peace of mind. When you find someone you would trust your child with, it enables you to smile a little bit more often. For me an ideal situation would be part time work where I would have more time with V and just some time to be the person who is not just his mother. This is what I feel today, who knows what will happen when the sun dawns tomorrow J

The challenge I see for a mother who works outside the house is mainly setting up some priorities out of which some have to take a backseat. Spending quality time with the child should be priority #1 for both your ‘quality’ of life. It is about making every moment spent with your child a ‘kodak’ moment. Planning and to-do lists are vital in my opinion. Sleep is a luxury and cannot be taken for granted. Some days are going to be crazy and sometimes the laundry will wait an extra day to get done but it is doable. Frankly I think the current cost of living makes a dual income more a necessity than a luxury. I am not denying that people don’t live on one income and don’t raise kids successfully, again it is a choice but one that would definitely not have been easy to make and one that would involve some sacrifices. Daycare does not work for all, and finding a good nanny is not a cheap option either. But next to family the relationship with the childcare provider is key to a mom being able to work. Another huge one is flexibility at the work place, if that is not doable then at least I would quit. Last but not the least is the role the spouse plays, being the mother sometimes and stepping up to the responsibility they share when they bring their child to this world.

The challenges in my opinion are larger for a mom who stays at home. In her own mind, she may struggle with self worth and value. Staying at home moms are not looked at fondly when they send their children to daycare part-time, or if they hire a maid are they L After all, they may like to have a life outside of caring for their child. Added to child rearing they also take on the role of a ‘housewife’, which means cooking, cleaning and everything else that is associated with running a home. Not an easy task. Where does this leave time for a life outside of the home? I would think it might lead to frustration. Again it depend on if this was a choice or a forced circumstance. Needless to say Mr. Spouse can make or break this situation too J

Bottom line whether you choose to work or stay at home, it should be a choice that you make voluntarily and one that you should change to suit your needs as time and situation demand. I think we are the person we are and each one is unique, so there can never be a right or wrong answer. But unless you think and ask yourself if you are truly happy you never will know!

P.S. The title of this post was picked because I do straddle the fence and support both sides of this issue, leaning however more to one side at this point.


Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Nov 11th 2009

Disclaimer: This article is meant for individuals over 18. If you are under that age you should be not be reading this. Please close this webpage and go back to whatever else you were doing. The author urges the audience to not spend time wondering if this a reflection of her personal life, instead to feel and experience and reminisce about the passion in their lives J

“Passion” Google dictionary defines it as follows:

- a strong feeling or emotion

- heat: the trait of being intensely emotional

- rage: something that is desired intensely; "his rage for fame destroyed him"

- mania: an irrational but irresistible motive for a belief or action

- a feeling of strong sexual desire

- love: any object of warm affection or devotion; "the theater was her first love"; "he has a passion for cock fighting";

- the suffering of Jesus at the Crucifixion

About a month ago when I took V out for a walk in the afternoon he was bored, and wanted some more. So I went to what is there as an excuse for a community park (just a bunch of slides really). And there I saw two teenagers sitting cuddling with each other sharing their sweet nothings. Not having the heart to interrupt them I brought my toddler home. And then as I was driving home today at around 8 pm I saw a young teenage couple completely lost in a lip lock at the corner of the street under a streetlight. What was I doing at 8 pm driving out you ask ?! Nothing spicy, just picking up our to-go order, our weekend came a bit early J

Being a parent puts a total spin on things. Off late such a sight evokes a lot of emotions in me that veer towards the future thinking what would I do if one day it was my son with his girlfriend. Would he share his feelings with me or would he say ‘Mom, please don’t interfere!’?

But today I let it go (after all it is a long way hopefully) and thought instead of that passionate feeling that makes you lose yourself. I thought about infatuation and falling in love for the first time. I reminisced about the stolen glances in each other’s direction immediately disappearing when one noticed the other. I reveled in the memory of butterflies in my stomach when I waited for him, or saw him from afar or even heard his name being mentioned by friends. When you lose all conscious thought and become so lost that you see, hear and breathe things only associated with him. When you are truly consumed with that one single emotion. When every activity you do from the time to wake up every day is a means to an end- the end being the few hours you spend with each other. When rationale and reasoning become unknown words in your vocabulary. When hours do seem like minutes and minutes of togetherness last you weeks. When mundane tasks like button sewing take special meaning when it is a button on his shirt. Sharing a drink or a bite from his plate tastes a teeny bit more special. Sneaking to spend time instead of being in class or studying, alas you are performing in a limited capacity aren’t you? You have lost yourself along with your senses. And that rage and anger at any other of the species that speaks more than what in your mind is casual and allowed, ha!

Today I have regained my senses some. And while that passion and rage is replaced some by a deep, glowing warmth in my heart, a feeling too wonderful to describe, I feel and encounter with my son the passion that his father opened my heart to experience. In a very different way but with as much intensity that I never even knew I was capable of until I met these men in my life.

Fantabulous Halloween

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Nov 2nd 2009

I really have no other words to describe this halloween at home. With a toddler who was absolutely not interested and weather that called for crawling near the heater, we ourselves had no plans to go trick or treating. Esp. since at this point the only trick V would perform would probably be to throw his costume on the ground and run over it.We have moved into this community only about 5 months ago and had no idea what to expect in terms of other kids trick or treating and were hoping maybe a few would show up. So we waited with 2 packs of Hersheys and milky bars (sorry, I ate a couple). And in the past, we have never had any kids show up, so this would be plenty in our opinion. How wrong we were :P

When we heard the doorbell ring for the first time 6 ish, we were eager and all 3 of us went and opened the door. A few kids had come - a fairy, a lion and some others I did not recognize. They were thrilled that we had Hersheys and grabbed more than a couple each. They were kids so I saw no reason for stopping them, but in retrospect I should have. Because the doorbell never stopped ringing after that. We had kids show up back to back and we ran out of chocolates within the first 1/2 half hour. And there were hordes coming. We could see them down the road, and up the street. They even came from other neighborhoods in packs in vans and parked themselves on our street. I introduced myself like an idiot to a parent with some kids thinking I should know my neighbors, only to have her tell me, she does not even live here.

Our friend KK was heading to our place so we urgently asked him to get us more candy. In the meantime I packed every eatable snack in my home, bourbon and orange cream biscuits, some full size hersheys bars, pears etc. in brown bags for these ghosts and ghouls who were at my door. It was a frenzy and so much fun! We even borrowed some candy from our neighbors to give away. It was shameful :( Luckily for us, KK arrived at the nick of time.

We gave candy easily to at least 200 kids on Halloween. Some costumes were very nice. Some of my favorites were R2-D2 from Star Wars, the usual animals, some witches and fairies, mickey, some crazy wigs, incredible and other famous cartoon characters and just the kids coming up were so adorable. There was a guy dressed as a ghost who scared the crap out of V. There were some teenagers who were so lame and came in tracks and just a cape. I am gonna kick them out next time, no candy :) So many different characteristics too if you care to notice. Some kids grabbed the candy, some took only one even when offered more, some cared to thank you, some ran amok. Some waited for their turn, some almost knocked me over. And, we had our last visitors at 8:30 pm to whom I only had a couple of pears to offer. There were thankful and said their mom would actually let them eat the fruit as opposed to candy.

We so enjoyed the evening. Our whole street was filled with all the people I have craved to see all these months. It was the closest to Diwali I have felt here in the US of A. It is a beautiful memory for me, and I am already planning what treats I will be giving my trick or treaters next year. If you are in the neighborhood do pay us a visit and I assure you, you will not be disappointed :)

Airtel Super Singer Junior 2

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

I am talking about the program that airs on Star Vijay. We have this channel at home as you require a world channel subscription to watch Cricket. One of the umpteen rackets these sattelite companies have. And since Cricket is K's first love (thankfully not the only love), I had to succumb.
When I get lunch ready for the next day, K takes the jr to bed (or atleast is supposed to). Many a times I have caught them both enjoying this program instead of getting prepped for sleep. Since V is feeling sleepy earlier these days I had the chance to catch part of it yesterday, and I am very glad I did.
While I do belong to the school that is against encouraging children into media this early in age as I feel it brings with it many feelings/situations they are not equipped to handle and makes them grow out of their childhood very soon, I was bowled over by the talent showcased. While most of the singers are atleast good, some are just exceptional. There are a lot of poignant moments when the child performs, the parents watch with expectation and pride, and the judges encourage ever so softly. It is very engrossing to say the least. I have a hard time trying to not cry when the elimination occurs, these are kids for god's sake!
Anyway, if you are able to see should watch it. It is a wonderful showcase of amazing talent.

To Amma & Appa with love

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Becoming a parent has certainly changed me, for the better I would like to think. However, not everyone around me would agree I am positive. One thing for sure that it did is make me value some things more in my life that I certainly took for granted before. We are the persons we are because of everything around us and what we absorb and I am the parent I am because of how my parents were. If one thing, becoming a parent has certainly made me closer to them and I value their presence in my life all the more.

The day V went to daycare, everyday as I sit at work watching the clock tick I understand how my parents must have felt when they left me in Pilani, after having their children as their sole focus all 18 years I was with them. Their tear stained faces and pained glances gain more meaning as I wait to be with my son and suffer every minute I am apart.

The calls everyday from India and my irritation at some of those times that I cannot take back; now make we wonder how they must have craved to hear my voice. Even after having my son with me by my side I cannot just have enough, how can I think that they will proceed with life when they let me go so many miles away?

I now understand the challenge it must have been for my mother to make an **interesting tiffin** (in my words) every single day I came home from school. When asked what I would like for lunch/dinner, many a times I have responded that "It is boring amma, same thing". Now when I have to prepare meals for my family, I expect to be appreciated even if I serve the same dish once in 2 weeks, and mind you I don't even make tiffin, it is only 3 meals a day :P I want to kiss her hands and massage the feet that stood in the kitchen taking care of us day after day as I grew up ignorant and oblivious to her effort.

Today I can relate to the passion with which my father would watch our every move. I can relate to his desire to provide the best and nothing but that for his children. I hope to have his energy when he used to come and coach me with lessons after spending more than 18 hrs a day seeing his patients. Gone is the annoyance I felt that he read my personal letters that I wrote in school, gone is the anger when he disciplined me. I understand today that it comes with being a good parent. When he hugs me tight today I understand what he feels because I feel the same when I hug my son.

By no means does this post idolize only my parents. It is a salute to all those who strive to live their life with the children as their driving force. Much as a child gives, it takes from you to be a parent. And to be a good one, a kind that will allow you to go to sleep with a smile on your face is no easy task. It does become a way of life and requires no effort when you start to live, eat and breathe your child in everything you do.

As King Khan rightly said "Having a child is like taking a part of your soul and putting it in another body and allowing it walk in front of you. The child is part of you, is you".

P.S. I will work on the maintaing a distance part when V is old enough to be a teenager, right now I am just reveling in this feeling.

Joys of Motherhood

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

I am no longer Anu-the daughter, or the sister, or the daughter in law, not Paapu-the wife, not Aanu- the aerobics instructor, not Anu- the doctoral candidate, I became an "Amma" and my life has changed forever. To my mother, a thousand god salutes!! While I cannot be in a happier place, raising a child does have its share of challenges. Here are a few that I experience and I’ve only just begun.

  1. COSTCO and are my new best friends
  2. "Me” time is the biggest joke I have ever heard
  3. Eating, sleeping, using the loo and taking a shower in leisure are no longer necessities, they are luxuries
  4. “Poop” is talked about at least once if not more times in a day
  5. Criteria for new friends: They need to have kids or like kids
  6. Criteria for old friends: need to have e-mail or be on online networks, I barely talk to anyone on the phone
  7. Couple time/Dating/Romance –yeah, been there done that!
  8. S.L.E.E.P, oh how I miss you!
  9. Dirty dishes and clothes keep piling up much quicker than I can even say “DONE”
  10. How someone only 34 inches tall can have SO *much* stuff
  11. My list of top 10 inventions of the century goes like this a) diaper b) baby monitor c) washable get the picture
  12. My reading these days is limited to a half a page of the parenting magazine ( sometimes I can’t find where V put the rest of it)
  13. Watching a movie is a week long process, especially Indian ones
  14. Jeans most days, different t-shirts, hair always in a ponytail..yeah, you can spot me a mile away, and my sense of style has taken quite a beating I must say
  15. A good day at work is when there is no meeting at 4:30 and I can get a workout at lunch, and my boss smiles when we cross each other in the hallway :)

Children of a Lesser God

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

This is a term I have always heard and assumed to know the meaning of. I found that this term originated from an old movie only now, thanks to wiki .

I have always associated children with some form of a handicap to be created by a lesser God because I cannot bring myself to understand how he could do that to a child. He cannot be the best God if he did that to a child now can he? Whatever our scriptures say about karma and us being re-born and experiencing and paying for our past sins, it never can justify seeing a child like that. I am sure we have all had our exposures with children less fortunate than us but it sure hits you rock bottom when you encounter the same after having a child of your own, one that bring you so much joy with every smile!

Some months ago I came across at a get-together we went to; a child affected by Down syndrome. Seeing that child shook me as I was holding V in my arms and it brought back the never answerable question what if? When asked if we wanted to test if our baby had a chance of being affected when I was expecting, it was something I did not want to do as I would not know how to react if I found out the test came out positive. We wanted that baby no matter what and this was an unnecessary test I felt. However we did it just to find out if we needed to expect something different from normal so we could be prepared. I guess we were fortunate to find out that we were having a normal baby.

But I wondered even then, what if? Would I be a good parent to a child who would need special attention and patience much more than 10 normal children could demand? Can I accept the pity that everyone’s eyes would offer when they saw us? Will I even socialize and go out for fear that I would be different from the others? Every park and every street I go to, I would see beautiful children running and smiling at their mommies and daddies and riding tricycles and climbing play structures. Their parents worry about whether the child will fall off that swing when a parent with a special child worries if their child will ever ever get on the swing even if it was to get hurt. Such different perspectives, such different situations all by a twist of fate.

I always think back to Raghuvaran’s answer to his daughter in the movie Anjali when she asks him why Shamilee was born to them and not to the girl or boy next door. He would respond saying that God picked them because that child needed extra attention and only they were capable of giving it. There is a lot of depth in that statement. Maybe God hand picks the parents to these children with special needs, his children, because they are more than human. They are almost God in what they do for these children and how they care for them. I cannot even begin to understand how challenging their lives must be. I want to dedicate this post and offer my respect to these special human beings. In them I see God, in their action I learn what compassion and patience actually mean. Standing in their shoes, I remind myself I should never complain and try to become a better person. Definitely I realize how insignificant my trouble and how selfish my desires are.

It happens not only in India

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

When Macy's had their semi-annual sale a month ago, I went berserk and bought a lot of stuff. It does not matter that I got it at a good deal and absolutely love everything that I purchased. To the point that I chose my new sauté pan over my husband and refused to share it with him J

A couple of items that I had ordered were on backorder and would be shipped later and I was to receive 6 through mail in the first package. I waited eagerly for it only to find that it finally arrived with just 4. The Rival slow cooker and another sauteuse were missing. The invoice that came with it however showed all 6 items to be shipped and I was totally confused as to what was going on. A call to customer service at Macy's ensured that they would ship out the other two [Isn't the customer always right in the US?] but I wanted to know what happened to the other two parts. The lady I spoke to asked me to inspect the package. I had already noticed that the top seemed opened and re-taped with a different tape and I mentioned that to her right way. She responded to my surprise that they have been having this issue with Fed-Ex misappropriating shipments and them having to replace orders for customers. I was really taken aback for a few seconds as I did not expect this to happen here, after all is not every one a law abiding citizen. I found out that it is not to be. Anyway, this is the first time I have come across this and I found that not all is perfect here too sometimes.


Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

The name Chloe might bring to your mind a beautiful girl. This is what the wiki has to say, "". I am definitely talking about a beautiful lady, but a lady dog.

Our friends have this really cute 8 year old (56 in dog years) dog called Chloe. When we visited the first time, she was besotted with V as she had never seen a baby in a while. My son did not bat any eyelid and he had no clue what was going on. When we put him to sleep in his car seat, this smart lady would open doors (literally) to go peep in to see what kind of a creature he was. Admist all this my son blissfully slept. This was 5 months ago :)

Then came yesterday and we visited them again. This time there was reciprocal from V and he was touching Chloe and trying to understand that this is how the dog that I keep pointing to in books looks like. She was also going through a tough time as she was going to dog school to be disciplined, apparently she licks and does stuff she is not *supposed* to do and is learning to behave :) He was excited, it was 10:30 pm and way past his bedtime. I don't want anyone judging us for the kind of parents we are for keeping a 14 month old up at this time on a workday, we did not stop him from sleeping for one thing. It was a choice he made. Finally at 10:30 pm I took a reluctant V to bed on the second floor of their beautiful home and put him to sleep on the bed in their master bedroom which was generously offered. And then came down for some adult conversation.

We kept going up every 10 min to check on him to see if was sleeping or awake. All was good until 11:20 pm when I went up and heard him awake and crying before I opened the door. I saw a sight which I will never forget. There curled up in the corner of the king size bed was Chloe sleeping next to V. And my son was awake and sitting up crying a little bit. I was surprised and at the same time found the situation hilarious :) She had opened the door to the bedroom and come and slept next to him. And BTW this was one thing she is not *allowed* to do. Darn, I did not have a camera to record the moment. I was thankful that V was not scared or shaken and he quickly climbed on to me and snuggled on my shoulder. Chloe looked at me with huge eyes trying to understand what was going on. It was priceless.

Long story short, we all came home and V and I slept peacefully but K has been having sleepless night for fear that we will soon have to have an addition to our house, maybe a Chloe!

Anal Melae Panithuli

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

I meant to watch this song right after I saw this post on this little midget's blog, but did not get to it until today.

I don't have anything new to say on Surya as I am pretty speechless whenever I see him look into my eyes, ahem! ( I know he looks into the camera or into whichever pretty lass is paired with him but I like to think it is me he is looking at every single time)

So anyway the point of this post is that I think slowly Indian movies are quietly accepting and endorsing pre-marital sex. This is just one such example. Pls refer to portion in video where the marriage happens after not before a pretty sensuous scene unlike in older movies. In my opinion it is a personal choice, and a trend that is trying to keep up with bringing on screen what happens in our daily lives. I am OK with that but not with the hypocrisy of taking Khusboo to task for her comments on the same and giving a "U" to such movies which in their own way are saying the same thing.

People- Where Art Thou?

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

One of the things I have always loved about the US is slowly driving me nuts. I am talking about the non-existent life and invisible people here! If you are from one of the busy cities in India, what the heck..any place in India you can sense what I am talking about. The one thing that greets you as soon as you land in the airport is the cacophony of sound and the hoards of people everywhere. I am from Chennai and whether is it shopping for sarees in Nalli, or walking (actually being pushed) along Ranganathan street or waiting to be seated in Saravana Bhavan, or just trying to cross the street- the one constant is people (lots of them), sound, color and life. Which is why having some quite and peace was a welcome change here!

But now with a 13 month old that I am trying to engage I am really missing home like ever L So irrespective of what time I leave for work whether it is 7 or 10 am I never see anyone outside. Irrespective of what time I come back whether 4 or 6 pm, I never see anyone outside. I either see parked cars telling me they are back from home, or none denoting they are yet to be back. I don’t even see lights or anyone inside eating dinner, are they all asleep at 6? All the lawns are always trimmed, all the roses always blooming, yet I see no one working on their yards. I don’t see even birds here, only a stray car going now and then which I run from one end of the house to the other to show V through the windows. It is summer now and kids are supposed to be on vacation, so how come no one is on the street playing ( very rarely I do see them). Is everyone traveling every evening, every weekend – I have no clue. I see people shopping in every store but how come very few in the parking lot compared to the # of cars parked. There is no postman that I see, no garbage man that I see, no delivery man that I see; but packages and letters that are magically at my door. People- where art thou?

I am ready to see some cows, dogs and hear the auto horn that was once so annoying. I am ready to be pushed into the throes at Ranganathan street or into the mad crowd at Pothys. I am ready to feel the fervor when a new movie releases and see giant posters everywhere. I am ready to be back in Chennai eating my amma’s meals and sharing nonsenses with appa. I am ready to complain about the sultry Chennai heat. I am ready to be back home.

P.S. Much as I like and enjoy and appreciate the US for what she is, I love India despite her drawbacks for it is she that I belong to.


Author: Anu Karthik /

So I think we all have our embarrassing moments and our stories to tell. I have had my share I should say, like the time

  • I don't remember the name of the person I am talking to and they remember me and my birthday!
  • Or when I spoke to a friend of mine for a good 10 minutes thinking her to be another friend with the same name only the friend I was talking to was expecting a baby and the one I was thinking of was just it made for an interesting conversation.
  • Or the time when my professor caught me reading up on some useless movie stuff when I should have been working
  • Or the time my husband and I when dating, left a long mushy voicemail to each other on our friend's inbox. So if you ask me how that happened..well, we thought we were done with the conference call J Worse was when our friend's roommate came home to this voicemail. Yeah..that was embarrassing.
  • Or the time when you are watching a movie and SRK is holding Kajol's hands and looks into her eyes and just mouths words which you fail to hear b'cos at that time your heart is thumping and you feel really truly butterflies in your belly..and you are gaping with your mouth wide open , with just a little bit of drool and..god forbid your friends catch you in that midst..leads to endless merciless teasing..well, you get the picture!

So when I found out what V had in store for us, well it took embarrassment to a whole new level J

It was any other evening when it was time to change V's diaper. So the dutiful dad puts him on his mat and starts changing it. Right at that instant, the door bell rang. I was in the midst of dinner and went to get the door. We found out that we had a guest who we had to bring in. So what does my son decide to do..pee in the middle of the living room, thankfully mostly on his sheet. As we come in, I see my hubby holding a naked V with pee to clean and clothes sprawled all over the place..right in the middle of the living room. It was a sight to behold. Well, what can you say…so we pretended like this was normal and kept continuing to have a conversation and even offered our guest some juice. Needless to say, he refused.

I only keep thinking back to the incident I read about where the lady's child decided to throw a fully dirty diaper with poop all across the house, the day the realtor walked in with prospective buyers. Needless to say, the house did not sell. Well, nothing can be as bad as that right? Sigh!

Sorry Bill, I'd rather kiss my boss

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,


Author: Anu Karthik / Labels:

I love to wear salwars. I never realized how much until I left India. Wearing coordinating accessories and maii and fancy pottus did not mean much until here when I crave and love it so much. And jasmine flowers..I miss them so, I can’t even begin to describe how much! So off late I have been using every opportunity I have to wear the salwars I have.

Now this brings me to the heart of the story. Characters  and situations in this post are not fictional but merely camouflaged .  I would like to state upfront that I have great respect for people who choose to be home makers. Their kids will definitely appreciate their presence and the fact that they are able to do it is selfless and commendable for sure.  Same for people who chose to go with non-engineering degrees or to not study at all, it is their personal choice. However I have chosen to be neither, I work full-time (though my family may disagree J) and also havea PhD in Electrical Engineering. It is a choice I made.

So when this Saturday dressed in my salwar  I was speaking to one generation older tamilians, the lady asked me where I went to college- she was not expecting me to say BITS, Pilani. She simply ASSUMED that since I was wearing a salwar, spoke tamil and went to Fatima convent, I would have gone to Meenakshi college, how convenient. She went on to say that everyone in chinmaya nagar (where I used to live in India) went only to Meenakshi college. Nice! I have to mention that she was the Head of the Zoology department at that college. I did not know where to laugh or be angry at her. But then it got me thinking.

For starters, how often have I assumed that someone well dressed, outright fashionable is probably a snob. That someone who speaks accented English is showing off and probably not very down to earth. That someone who wears western clothes all the time even to the temple is not Indian enough. And I sometimes have these presumptions in spite of being proved wrong many many times J Don’t we all have our assumptions and our pre conceived notions, I’ll call them. So I decided to forgive her for thinking I went to Meenakshi college and did Bsc. Zoology and married Karthik and got fresh off the boat to come to America and make good sambar and rasam. Though the last part is true J


Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Some of this was news to me, Aamir Khan and a love child..I did not know..same for Nagarjuna and Tabu.

Really..I am so fed up of this family tagging along everywhere..poor Jaya. With Amitabh and Aishwarya hogging all the limelight all the time..Abhishek is never ever going to get any attention...he is pretty comfortable being Mr.Aishwarya Rai Bacchan I think :)

Normal, what does that mean?

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels:

At work I have seen this blind person. I checked out his badge and yes he was an employee. I have wondered many a time how he is able to do his work without eyesight when I struggle having all my senses. I have always been in awe of him. He is the only blind employee I have seen here.

Then one day I was taking the elevator to go down. Like in most places in the USA, restrooms are located right opposite the elevators at my work place too. This person was heading to the restroom.  There was cleaning going on and duct tape was in place, asking people to keep out. I could see that and was not sure if I could call out. He figured it out himself and immediately headed towards the elevator. 

Once I saw that I held the door open for him. He heard the "ding" of the elevator and heard me say hi. He said "Ah, so you could see me!". I was left openmouthed and thoughtful the rest of the day. How many times have I taken my sight for granted- every single day! 

What's normal for me is a gift for someone else. I thank God for these episodes in my life to make me realise that I should be thankful for what I have, so much! 

Try it and see

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

Lovely weather, rolled down windows, open sunroof, Tanha Tanha blaring on the car stereo, goggles too big for my face, an empty road and cruising at 60 mph, home to a waiting V, makes my day any day!

p.s. did I mention 60 mph in a 45 mph zone, ha!

There in no selfless good deed

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

When Joey Tribbiani told Phoebe Buffay that "There is no selfless good deed out there", he in fact knew what he was talking about it.

Think about it, doesn't the warm glow from just having your smile reciprocated see you through most of the morning?
If you do donate on a regular basis, then I am sure you get a warm glow everytime that dollar leaves your hand.
If you did find time to do some volunteer work, well that can see you through a whole month or if not longer just thinking about it.
Need i say that time spent with a pet just brings all our happy hormones alive that it is worth experiecing once if not always.
And if you are lucky enough to do good to a child, to interact with the old, the homless or the aged, well that is a memory you can carry for life!

I have to agree with Joey, I get more good than ever from doing any good deed than the receiver for sure.

Happy Birthday!

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels:

I just had a birthday..I turned a year older..yay! Whoz counting anyways..age is just a # after all. But I did something to remember this one by..I got my nose pierced, a fun way to celebrate by getting poked. Now if only I can figure out how to keep V from getting his hands on my nose :)

Home or Aapice?

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

On days that V is asleep when I leave, it is easy to pick Aapice..
On days that he is awake, looks at me sleepy eyed, yawns and gives a half smile (well if it is any smile, it is different) a smile that melts my heart, hands that call out to me to be held and eyes that haunt me every is Home 100%!

On days that I have success working on a project and feel useful, it is Aapice;
On days that V tries and struggles to achieve milestones like successfully biting into my face, slobbering kisses on my cheek, crawling to come to me hearing my voice, scrambling all over K trying to stand, successfully opening every door, pulling every wire, trashing every toy, eating EVERYTHING in sight, it is Home again :)

On days I get my paycheck, it is Aapice of course;
On days I begin to wonder if I would trade all my money for time with V, it is home most definitely!

On days I am respected for who I am and what I contribute to, it could be Aapice;
But on days that V hugs me with his tiny hands, rests his adorable head on my chest/shoulder and looks at me with his questioning eyes..everything goes out the door to be at Home.

On days that I think of this blasted economy, it is Aapice with thanks to God; But then again on days that I think of the hundreds of childless couples..I think if I am doing the right thing after all ?!

It is everyday that I am thankful for what I have; don't get me wrong, but unfortunately it does little to ease the pain and torture of seperation from this little someone who owns my time and my life now. I hope someday it is all worth it!

A picture is worth a million words, in this case

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

Is it any wonder I love you so?

A First for me

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

3 1/2 sleepy hours of prepartion apparently were not enough to pass Oregon's Knowledge based driving test, I failed unfortunately :( My first failure ever in life, too bad it had to happen now.

The worst was not failing the test but the response it met from my family. My dad says " Now do you know how hard it is to study when you have a child?". I don't think that preparing for this counted as studying necessarily. My sister " So did you fail in TN also when you took your driver's license test?", the overachiever scored a 99%..who cares really..a pass is a pass. And K had to open his big mouth and say "Was it really that hard, really should have done better." At this time I remembered a certain friend of mine who managed to fail his test not once, not twice, but 5 times. At least I have not hit rock bottom yet.

Ah..the humiliation of it all, I am amazed I am even alive today. But the good news is I took it again yesterday and passed with a decent 85%. Not bad for a working mother I should say :P

P.S. I also leaked the questions to K who managed to score a just pass of 80%, humpf!

Sleepless in Portland

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

Late Friday nights and later Saturday mornings are things I treasured and have now become things of the past. It has been nine months and 18 days since V was born and I am yet to have one night of sleep, let alone one night...I am yet to have four hours straight sleep...sigh! For someone who just cannot give up sleep, I myself don't know how I am surviving. I read recently that being sleep deprived makes you forget that you are sleep deprived, I think that is what has happened to me. This kid just does not sleep and does just fine. I wish I did the same :(

I don't mind that he wakes up during the night, I get to look at that face one more time, I get to admire those lips and those tiny hands and legs and feel that soft skin and that pleasant breath against my face. (BTW he does not smell at all for someone who did not brush their teeth or gums for the first seven months of his life!) I don't have the heart to let him be, after all like someone very close to me said "If you think about it, they are children only once!". How true, I cannot get back the first eight months of his life no matter what. What the heck, I can't get yesterday back :)

So I think the only way for me to survive as he grows is to teach him that on weekends Daddy is the one who should be woken up first - ALWAYS!!

Aveeno Baby: Naanga Aveeno ku maaritom, appo nenga?

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

If you have not already tried it, you should try the Aveeno bodywash for babies. If you don't have a baby, well then try it on yourself! V smells so wonderful after I have ditched johnson and johnson for this. It actually reminds me of the sambangi flower frangrance in India. So subtle yet so divine.

Pots and Pans!

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Black Friday changed to Black Sunday- What's going on? I am talking about a sale at IKEA that I had the misfortune of being interested in and the stupidity of actually going to. I like cooking and I like vessels even more :) So when I got the flyer that IKEA was selling their 11 qt stockpot for $10 (originally $34.99), I was mildly interested (Remember: only one per family and that was already bothering me). However one week of constantly looking at it and god bless my mother in law for her praise of how I would use the vessel and all the dishes that I could cook in it, I was hooked :P And a trip to the store and a feel of that stainless steel in my hand and knowing I could be having this in my kitchen for $10 was pure heaven!

So came the D day and IKEA opened at 10 am, if you wanted free breakfast you had to come at 9:30 am though. Who cared for bacon strips really, so I dragged my husband and father in law and showed up at the store at 10. And did I have the shock of my life! People were walking out of the store with not one stockpot per family, but two per person, one in the right hand and one in the left, and some even had three ! And the worst part of it all was there was a queue outside the store, worse than what I have seen during the Thanksgiving Black Friday sale. I was actually dumb enough to be hopeful when I was standing in the line. My joy was short lived though, 10 min later and 400 steps to the store entrance told me that they were out of the stockpots. They had 850 of them and ALL GONE and it was only 10:10 am, can you believe that? Who says that the economy is going down, who says people don’t have money..I want to talk to these people some!!

Needless to say, we went to the store and bought some junk that we probably did not need and saw too many more people with the pots that I thought at some point my heart would burst with sadness. K had to hold on to my hand to prevent me from grabbing onto the pots or hitting some other ladies there. I know, I know but but I was so angry and disappointed, why me, sigh!

Lesson of the day: Sale at IKEA $10, Experience at IKEA: priceless

Mr. Karthik, Vrushab Karthik saves the day

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: ,

Ever since we booked our tickets to PHX I have been apprehensive about how Mr.V was going to handle the flight. The first and only time he flew was when we moved from Nashville and at that time he wailed quite loud and we had to ahem..give him a little something. He has grown much more, his voice has gotten much louder and as a result his amma had gotten more concerned :)

We took him to a friend's for lunch a week ago and we had not as much stepped into their house when he screamed his lungs out. The poor lady had only said "Hi Vrushab" to be met with this response :( With no success, an unhappy mommy brought him home and ate a leftover burrito. Needless to say my apprehension nearly tripled and I spent a sleepless week.

But when the D day arrived, he took us by surprise and how! This kid actually liked to fly and enjoyed his time. He was calling out to every passenger and actually making sounds of glee. Though sometimes he screeched like a cat I thought. He spent a good 10 minutes looking out of the window at all the lights when we landed, this kid does not fail to surprise me I can tell you that much. The horrid take offs and landings did not bother him at all, and he did not bat an eyelid. The only thing that did not change from home to car to flight was his total reluctance to focus on more than one thing for say more than 30 secs...sigh! I really wish sometimes he had short term memory loss so I could show him the same thing over and over. And as for my love of watching movies, especially Karan Johar ones, for now they go out the door unless something really changes and Bollywood decides 1 min movies are the way to go..ha.

An eventful sabbatical

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels:

No..I am not ready for one though I so wish I were! One of the reasons I have always wanted to work at Intel is because of the lure of the sabbatical. I have always associated a sabbatical with a vacation and to the best of my knowledge probably 90% of other people do the same. I found out that it could be much much more from talking to a co-worker who adopted a child during hers. How wonderful and special !

I have always loved children and have wondered how some people part with theirs to make them orphans. Sometimes life leaves you with no choice but there are many other times when maybe you have an option? I salute all those who change the lives these children are destined to by taking them as their own. I have no words for people who have children of their own who still adopt other kids and are able to love and provide for them equally. I wish to have their compassion.

I wanted to post this link here. Please click as often as you can to donate, it is only a click away!

My first entry

Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Trust me to find a time in my life when I am busiest to start blogging :) I am no longer single, no longer even just married, I am a parent now with a wilful 8 month old brat who passes for a boy because he smiles and how (ah so adoringly!). I guess it was only a matter of time and somehow I got motivated now. I hope to pen my thoughts as regularly as he allows.