mom of all trades

mom of all trades

Friday, March 14, 2014

The art of leaving


Leaving a place you called home for nearly a decade, is not easy.   Possessions and memories coexist in bountiful abundance.  It is amazing how you begin to notice little things about your world, that you hitherto took for granted, when there is an expiry date attached. A pomegranate tree laden with luscious crimson fruit in a far corner of the apartment garden, which makes you feel almost guilty for not having noticed it before. The way the morning sun drenches your living room in a buttery golden light, that gives it an almost ethereal tinge. A pencil mark on a bedroom wall indicating your child’s height, when he was still at that delicious age where you could carry him around; the way a little apartment  housed our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears, our little rituals of sustenance, our little indulgences and pleasures.

Bangalore for me, will always be a special place where I was privy to my child’s wonder years, where I learnt the art of leaving behind the dispiriting  ‘why’s’  and ‘what if’s’ and befriending  the elusive “why not’s’.  

I leave behind a bit of myself here, as I prepare to discover a whole new world, learn new things and more importantly be willing to unlearn old ways; for as Joseph Campbell quoted  “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

‘Home’ from now on, is the lovely coastal city of Chennai and I look forward to this leg of the exciting journey called life.









Sunday, December 8, 2013

Guest post for whattoexpect.com

Mom of all trades is thrilled and honored to be featured on the ' pregnancy bible' whattoepect.com.


It is an online companion to the book 'What to Expect When You're Expecting'

Dubbed the “pregnancy bible,” the iconic New York Times bestseller is now ...in its all-new fourth edition, with over 17 million copies in print, and according to USA Today, is read by 93 percent of women who read a pregnancy book

you can read my article here

http://www.whattoexpect.com/wom/toddler/things-i-wish-i-had-told-my-son.aspx

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Full circle



 

“We'll be Friends forever, won't we, Pooh?' asked Piglet.

“Even longer,' Pooh answered.”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

 We were a bunch of six girls barely out of our teens, all thrown together into a ‘degree course’ where we were expected to behave like ladies, rather than boisterous girls. Looking back, it might have been that calm convent atmosphere filled with demure lady like class mates, which drew us together. Each of us was as different as chalk and cheese with a common mischievous thread binding us together.  Soon we were inseparable, determined to enjoy each day to the fullest and dipping into our collective mischief bank to ensure that it happens. We would spend countless lovely afternoons in some shady spot of the lusciously green campus, chatting about everything under the sun or gossiping in the canteen biting into crispy golden banana fritters and sipping steaming hot milky tea.

We were slowly getting meshed into each others lives in a way that would ensure that we carry a part of each other wherever we may be. A tilt of the head of a co passenger on a train , a hearty laugh of a colleague, an old melody on the radio all transporting us back to those  sundrenched days of pure joy.

After our course, despite promises to stay in touch we drifted apart as quietly and as uneventfully as we got together; as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Life took us along in its whirlwind ride and soon we found ourselves in the peripheries’ of each others lives, sending an occasional ‘how are you’ message or congratulatory notes for birthdays.

 Thirteen years is by any standards a long time but it can seem like a life time to a group of people who were as close to each other as is humanly possible; people who drifted apart and finally lost touch with each other completely.

Finally one of us was wise enough to realize that friendships like ours come once in a life time and it was important to cherish it and hold on to it; and enterprising enough to do something about it.

So it was that a couple of months back, our collective lives changed once again with a whatzapp group. We typed on our handsets till our fingers were sore and our eyes bleary as if to make up for those lost years.  We blended into each others lives as if we had never been apart, with an ease that surprised us. We were once again becoming each others pillars of support, with the power to salvage anything from a bad mood to a badly turned out curry. No subject was out of bounds and life slowly began to take on an attractive sheen when seen through each others eyes.

It feels now that things have come full circle; a circle encircling us with its warmth and unconditional love.

As Jim Henson rightly quoted “There’s  not a word yet, for old friends who’ve just met”

 


One of the rare times we managed to actually look lady like.
 

 

 

 

 

Monday, September 9, 2013

For the love of crafts




A dinosaur
fish
For the past few months Nachikaet has been getting pretty crafty. From cereal box fighter planes and tissue roll hi tech rockets, he has  'been there and done that'. On most days after school, he can be seen cutting and  pasting away furiously until his room begins to resemble Santa's workshop and I begin to resemble (well not exactly resemble but at least feel like) his elf! He was truly caught up in the magical and highly addictive  world of DIY. So one week it would be raining cardboard dinosaurs ,planes and houses for his huge population of aliens and animals; with cardboard cartons and boxes borrowed from bewildered neighbors' and  scavenged from amused maintenance ladies.

 Then it would be play dough crafts, where the master sculptor would leave bits of sticky clay or worse atta*, (scavenged from the kitchen when the play dough is exhausted) throughout the house till the harrowed maid threatens to quit.

card board plane
elephant
His most exhaustive ( for me that is)    project  to date has been the dreaded paper mache project, where the dedicated crafter decided to make paper mache from scratch. So began the soaking and priming of news papers,( my much coveted unread Sunday newspaper in my much coveted highly used saucepan). After soaking for about 24 hours the gooey mixture has to be apparently mixed with glue by hand unless you have magical stirring apparatus like the Art Attack series anchor . Since I didn't want to sacrifice a spoon from my kitchen, not having yet recovered from the 'borrowed' saucepan; I bravely volunteered to stir the mixture by hand.  I sure did repent at leisure as I had to spend the better part of the evening trying to get my hand to its original five separate fingers state. Nachikaet politely pointed out that I had begun to resemble some unpronounceable creature with webbed hands.  
Luckily for him his dad came home earlier that day!!
scarecrow, (yes u guessed right wearing my tshirt)
I'm hoping that this is just a 'passing phase' as any more advanced Art attack crafting episodes just might give his 'non crafty' mother a heart attack!!!
 
 

 
 

 
 
*Atta is the flour used to make most South Asian flatbreads, such as chapati, roti, naan and puri. Most atta is milled from the semi-hard wheat varieties, also known as durum wheat, that comprise 90% of the Indian wheat crop, and is more precisely called durum atta.[1]

 
 
 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Let me kiss you


Cancer – the dreaded word that sends a chill down our spine, each time we hear about someone we know diagnosed with it. It just takes minutes for this word to bring our world crashing down. There is so much fear and stigma that this single word arouses in people, that most are unwilling to disclose it until the final stages; by which time it is usually too late. But what most of us fail to see is the other side of cancer, the success stories, the tales of triumph even when there seems to be no hope and the fact that cancer is completely curable if detected early enough.

Today I am honoured to feature in this space Eswar Anandan, who has made it his life’s mission to show people the ‘other side of cancer’. Eswar is eGardener of EzeeSolve Business Solutions, an end to end IT solutions provider. He chooses to see Cancer as a word not a sentence. His campaign “We CAN CERtainly fight CANCER together” aims to create maximum awareness among people about cancer and help remove some of the fear and myths surrounding it and ensure that the incidence of it being detected in the last stages is reduced drastically.

 
The planned phase of campaign is as follows:
 
1. Awareness: Creating awareness through viral campaigns, talks, paintings, and other creative outlets
2. Share: To encourage survivors and affected people to share the experience so that it can help someone
3 .Educate: Educate about cancer and help remove the myths surrounding it
4 Participate: Encourage participation, and spread awareness.
5. Camps: To come out with medical camps which helps detect cancer
6. Treatment plans: To guide, assist, and help in treatment plan and also to fund
7. Shelter: To open a shelter camp for terminally ill patients. The shelter camp would be having 5 star facilities including doctor and nursing assistance, so that the patients would feel and live in a better humane condition

The campaign is about helping people deal with cancer in a positive way.
 
Eswar shares with us a poem that he has penned down-‘Let me kiss you’ It is about the different phases of cancer, which is a tribute to millions who are affected by cancer. It has even got Eswar a personal letter of appreciation from the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Narendra Modi
Link to the letter : http://bit.ly/care4cancer

Here is what Eswar has to say about it
“It’s my mission to translate it to as many languages as possible and create art forms based on the poem - song, dance, paintings etc. I need your assistance in making this mission a reality”

 The poem expressed is about stages of cancer and the beautiful woman in the poem is death...

The link to the poem is http://bit.ly/PoemOnCancerAwareness
                                     http://bit.ly/PoemVideo

You can find more information about the campaign here:
 http://bit.ly/AwarenessCampaign

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Preserve and cherish your beautiful memories


 

Congratulations! You may have just welcomed a beautiful, bouncing baby into your family. Everyone is excited about the movements your baby makes. The first smile, the expressions, every moment is special for a mother and since its your first baby, every second with the baby is precious.

Babyhood and childhood are fleeting moments of imagination, play and creation which pass in the blink of an eye. Without a cherished photo, will we remember the gaze of our baby's eyes, the curl of their hair, a simple hand gesture?




 

As a mother, I know how important it is to record those wonderful early years and create beautiful, ever-lasting memories of your baby.
We can make these memories worth cherishing by making a photo book of baby moments/gestures. We can make a gallery wrap  canvas of the baby's picture in a beautiful manner and put it on our wall.

Mom of all trades  is proud to be associated with a company which helps to create a wonderful legacy of memories for you and your family- Photojaanic.com. They have a wide range of products. Their online tool allows us to customize the photo book as per our requirement. The product range includes gallery wrapped canvases, key chains, calendars and more....What is more,we can order these products from the comfort of home and get it shipped at our doorsteps.









 
Do hop over to their web space for further information
http://www.photojaanic.com/.

 Here is a coupon code “MOM25for all the followers of mom of all trades, that entitles you to get 25% off on photo books and gallery wrap canvas.
 
 


 














 




     

 

 



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Archeology for Dummies


 This summer  while on a visit to his grandmother’s place, Nachikaet decided that it was time that he had a new ‘passion’ in life. After deciding against breeding gold fishes (too labor intensive) and cooking ‘gourmet meals’ (being banished from the kitchen by my mother’s cook), he decided to take up archeology. He had his ‘eureka’ moment during one of the countless reruns of the Movie, ‘The Mummy’, to which sadly, we are often  subjected to by my husband, whose love for blood, gore and action sometimes surpasses his love for his family.

 Well, Nachikaet decided to unearth the ‘treasures’ that may be hidden in my mother’s backyard. Since any archeologist worth his salt or in this case mud, must have tools for his trade, Nachikaet started to collect the necessary equipment for his ‘dig’. After an hour of scavenger hunt he pronounced himself fit to dig. The ‘tools’ were a spade and a shovel ‘borrowed’ from his cousin’s beach set, a brand new bucket taken from his grandmother’s bath room, also ‘borrowed’; and a person who would actually dig.

Lesson 1: An archeologist only supervises; (well the title does mention its for dummies)
The assistant was my father, the only ‘tool’ which came along willingly.
After spending an entire evening supervising and actually digging; (his assistant proved to be physically unfit for the task and was sent back unceremoniously after being subjected to a lecture on eating well)
Nachikaet decided that whoever occupied his grandmother’s backyard in the ‘early ages’ were decidedly boring. So instead of digging ,he decided to bury something instead. At least the generations after him will not find him boring.

Lesson 2: If an archeologist can dig, he can bury as well.

  The next one hour was spent  in collecting bits of things, which would give future archeologists’ a glimpse into the life of  the ‘not so early man’.  So a bottle was procured; ‘borrowed’ from the above mentioned cook’s larder when he was not looking, and its contents (his treasured home made sambar powder*) was thrown out.  He then filled it with a little note describing himself and his life, a few old toys and other sundry house hold essentials that we ‘not so early men’ use.  Once it was safely buried, began the discussion of the possible future people who would ‘discover’ it and marvel at the life of ‘early Nachkaet’. His latest brainwave is to “bury his ancient parents” next to the previous bottle next time he visits his grandmother.
 
Well at this point, I am hoping he  was referring to a photograph of his 'ancient parents'




Lesson 3: I need to give him a good photograph of myself, before I become even more ‘ancient’
 
*Sambar powder: Sambar is a vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind and pigeon peas and is very popular in the cooking of southern regions of India, especially in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Each state in South India prepares it with a typical variation, adapted to its taste and environment.
Source:       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambar_(dish)
 Sambar powder is a dry spice mix used to prepare sambar.