Sunday, September 23, 2012

Onam and Kochakka's housewarming

I was dreaming that time. “Wake up” Mom was saying. Suddenly I felt that someone was pushing me. I opened one eye to find that Mom was really waking me up. I dragged myself out of bed.

It was second day of Onam. Kunjunni and Kunjichechi had made me promise that before they went to school, I had to reach their home to make the pookkalam (floral carpet).

So, I quickly chewed my food, and washed it down with a glass of water. 2 mins later, I rode down in the lift and skipped across the road to Valyamma’s home.

Over there, we plucked some leaves from the garden because Valyamma had already bought the flowers. Then we drew the pattern on the ground with a chalk.

We carefully filled the design with the flower petals and leaves, laughing and chattering all the time. We were feeling happy and great. But we were also sad because the next day I was going back to Riyadh.

Valyamma gave me some flowers so that I could make the pookalam in front of my house too. When I reached home, I saw my younger brother, Dev sitting on the sofa and happily playing with a toy Shrek. He is Kochakka’s (uncle Sujesh) son and it was their house-warming that day. They also live in the same building, we are on the 6th floor and they live on the 7th.

Dev sat next to me, watching me carefully as I drew a pattern on the ground. I gave him some petals and asked him to fill a circle. I told him that the petals must not go out of the circle and showed him how to do it. He watched me patiently and then copied me.

Later, I bathed and then wore new clothes and went upstairs.

The puja had finished when I got there, and Kochamma and my Grandma were giving everyone plates and were piling them with sambar, chutney and idlies. Then, we had payasam.

Everyone rested for some time and then we all went to “The Classic Fort” and had lunch there.

All together, it was a busy and wonderful day. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Holiday Infection :(

Even though I have written in some of my entries that Riyadh was boring, there is also one reason I like about it. That is because of Saudi National Day!!!!

Saudi National day is on 23rd September, which is near the weekend. And here the weekend consists of the days Thursday and Friday. So, we get Saturday and Sunday as holidays too! How cool is that?!

Saudi National Day is celebrated because it is the day King Abdu Aziz Al Saud in 1932 concluded the unification of the country.

At first I and my classmates thought that Sunday would be the only day we would get holiday. We were like” Oohhhh Noooooo!!”

But then when we got the slip that said we actually had 2 extra days’ holidays, then pandemonium!

Now I am sitting at home, writing this and stuck with eye infection. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Dad had eye infection too a few days back and I think that now I got it from him!!

Why should I get eye-infection right at the beginning of my holidays?? It’s not every day that Saudi National day is celebrated and we get holidays? And that’s when I have got 3 whole days stretching in front of me!!!!

What would Scooby doo???? I feel so mad, sad and insane!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mom's friends

“Ring ring……….ring.’’

Mom picked the phone and spoke into it. “Hello, who is this? ………Sreedevi??!!!  Is that really you? Ok fine we will be there in a minute!!”

Mom put down the phone and looked at me with excitement. The next thing I knew, I was on my feet and was sent flying to the bedroom to change.

When we were waiting outside the flat to catch an auto rickshaw I asked Mom what had happened. She said that her old college friends Sreedevi and Susan were waiting for her at Oberon mall.  

At Oberon Mall, Aunt Sreedevi and Aunt Susan were waiting for Mom with open hands. Mom hugged them happily.

I was very happy to meet Aunt Sreedevi, because she is a regular reader of my blog and keeps sending me encouraging comments.

Aunt Susan’s children’s names were Steve and Stan. Steve is in the 7th grade while Stan in the first grade, they live in Kuwait. Aunt Sreedevi also had 2 children, Pooja and Tarun.

Pooja and I chatted a lot and I learnt that she is in the 8th grade. Her brother was in second grade. She lives in Texas so I asked her a lot of questions: Is there a cafeteria in your school? Are there Talent shows? Are the kids there nice?

I know a lot about American schools through books and movies, and I got to know even more about them with Pooja’s help.

All the mothers sat in a group and chatted. We had chicken and ice-cream there.

We came back home, beaming, happy and with our tummies round.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Manakad - a memoir by 4th generation

“……… you are the 4th generation of Aandiyathu" Dad finished  saying.  I blinked.

Dad was telling me about his ancestral home at Manakkad.  He told me that I am the 4th generation of Aandiyathu. Apparently, my great-grandfather lived in that house, then my grandfather, Dad and now me.

Dad told me about the times he and his cousins, aunts, uncles used to go to the river during the holidays and bathed and played there.
I imagined Dad in his underwear, jumping into the river, while his aunts watched and washed their clothes and his cousins and uncles all swimming with him. Some of them were expert swimmers, like Sarada Chitta, who used to carry uncle Sujesh on her back across the river.

“Aaaaahhhhhhh, memories” Dad said dreamily. There was no doubt that he was remembering his babyhood, childhood and olden days.

I tried to remember my days there.  For example, like the times we went to the river.
When I was a lot more younger, I used to be scared of the fishe in the river. I was really scared of them even though they were small. The reason, I thought they would come to my toes and bite them off and so, practically, I wouldn’t have any toes left.

Thank goodness I am older now and not afraid of silly things like being afraid of fish.
Except that I am a little scared (okay, a lot scared!) of sharks…………….

To remove my phobia of fish, I made a solemn oath;
I, Janaki S Nair, with a sound mind and sound body, is now
And believe it or not, it totally worked!

It is much easier to swim in a pool for me. This time, we bought me a new swimsuit and went for swimming at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor stadium.  

There are endless stories and memories about Aandiyathu, I cannot write them all in one day. So Adios.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Aunt Gouri, Aandiyathu home and London

The main 2 reasons why we left to India early were;
                                - Aunt Gouri’s marriage
                                - Housewarming of our new home

These 2 things happened in just 1 week.

Aunt Gouri’s marriage was FUNtastic! This means fun and fantastic.

Me, Dad and Gopichan were standing down at the front of the hall, receiving guests. Mom was with Geethama, helping aunt Gouri to put on her makeup.

The sadya was great and all our relatives were there. My cousins Kunjunni, Kunjichechi, Savithri, Shanku, Madhavan and Keshavan were also there. My cousins and I went up to a balcony which was in the hall itself and we sat there comfortably and watched everything.

Though I was kind of disappointed that since I was sitting at the balcony I would not be able to throw flower petals…………  But in any case, the marriage was a blast!!!!!!!!!!!

We did our flat’s housewarming that following week and then after some weeks our house was fully furnished and looking cute and cozy.  And by the way, house- warming does not mean to warm up the house! It means to do pujas and pray that we will all be safe and happy in our new home. 

We named our house “Aandiyathu” after our ancestral home in Thodupuzha.

After marriage Aunt Gouri went to London with Uncle Ashwin because that is where Uncle works.

We also went to London and stayed there for almost a month when I was younger. Uncle Sujesh (Kochakka) was working there so we stayed with him.  I even celebrated my 6th birthday there.

We saw Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Big Ben, Tower Bridge and lots more. We spent 3 days on an island called Isle of Wight.  It was awesome. 

We went to Windsor Studios where you can dress as a princess and have your photo taken.

Since it has been some years since we went to London, I do not remember everything clearly. So one day I asked Dad whether he could take me to London again. He replied “When you are older and have a job, you can take me there instead!”  So that means he can wait for the next 15 years till I get a job.