Saturday, December 25, 2010

This Christmas Day

Thank God my parents never believed in Santa. They never took me to an old, fat guy with a fake beard and asked me to sit on his lap. Subsequently I never suffered  from the trauma of discovering Santa Claus did not exist.

They did believe in plum cakes and a good Christmas feast though. So my brother and I always looked forward to the 25th. That was the night we went out to eat. 

When my kids were born, I tried to tell them that Santa existed. Truly I did. It worked also in the beginning. "Eat your lunch or Santa won't give you any toy, " or "Behave or else Santa will give your share of candies to your sister," but they were pretty smart. They figured out all by themselves that good old Santa was just a figment of mommy's over active imagination. So they took charge of the whole festival, bought a big tree that almost touched my ceiling, bought Christmas presents with their own pocket money and rented some Christmassy movie to watch on Christmas Eve. To be honest, as long as they did not expect me to bake a turkey or wrap their presents, I was quite happy with this arrangement.

This Christmas however every thing has gone wrong. Their father has gone on some long official trip up north. Their mother has forbidden them to put up the big tree that overwhelms the rather small living room. Their exam schedule, (especially the older one's) has clashed with the festival. The friends of the older one are all at home studying for the board prelims. The friends of the younger one have all gone out of town to celebrate the holiday season. So this year there have been no plum cakes, no presents, no tree and definitely no Santa.

We have spent this extra-ordinary day doing ordinary stuff. Got up rather late in the morning. Had Maggi 2 minute noodles for lunch and lazed around the whole afternoon. The kids have demanded pizza for dinner. So the evening will probably turn out a little better.

So how did you celebrate the holiday this year? Did you get a completely useless gift? And did some of you spend the holiday getting over a hangover? Whatever it was, I bet it was better than mine. 

So I thought I'd cheer myself up with this hilarious video. What do you think of this? Isn't this awesome? Enjoy people, and have a great holiday season!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Decisions, Decisions...

Sometimes we are pushed to one, some times we make a conscious one- but we all make choices. Everyday.

The day starts with the most important one. What do I pack today for my kids' lunch? At 6 o'clock in the morning, when admittedly I'm not at my best, I often make the wrong choice. The result? The lunch boxes come home with the food barely eaten. Apparently nobody eats rotis and vegetables anymore in the class. The super cool moms have graduated to making pastas and pizzas. I, being old fashioned and 'uncool' still persist on packing rather orthodox meals. Decisions. Do I make something nutritious and hope hunger would compel them to eat it? Or do I make something tasty but junk just to make sure they have something in their stomach?

Then later, do I laze around with a cup of tea and read the newspaper? (Which I badly want to) or do I go for my yoga/walk/pranayam routine which I badly do not want to? That is a tough one indeed!

Sometimes the decisions are fun. Which place to go to this summer? An ancient city or a modern one? Glam and glitz or quaint and serene? Mountains? Beaches? Architecture? We argue, discuss and finally come to a conclusion. This time, looks like an old civilization would win over everything else.

Do I go and meet my cousin and stay with her for the weekend or do I stay at home and help my younger daughter to study for her exam on Monday? The cousin has come from abroad and I get to meet her only once a year. The exams happen all the time. So the cousin wins. And the daughter gets 90 in the exam. She usually gets 100. So was that a wise decision or a stupid one? I think a wise one. Quite a few don't agree.

The older one will be appearing for her all important class 10 exams next year March. Like all typical Indian parents, we too are feeling the pressure. The boards are almost here. How many hours is she studying? Is she still watching T.V.? Is she studying at least 6 hours a day? Have you got the last 10 years question papers? Is she solving them? Science, Arts or Commerce? Has she made a decision yet?

The latest to join the bandwagon is the IB curriculum. The schools are wooing all the students to join this prestigious board. Apparently this board has the best methodology and offers the students a shot at world's best universities. The schools are inviting the parents of class 10 students for a presentation. The fees are too high. Around Rs 6 to 10 lakhs a year. But what is a little money compared to your precious ones? Think about their bright future. Never mind the fact that the curriculum is rigorous and not many students perform well enough to get into an Ivy League college. So decision time once again. Continue in the same school? Transfer her to CBSE? What about the junior colleges? Though that would mean changing over to the State board which many consider slightly inferior.

So what decision do we make about that? My daughter is not one of those highly motivated, super brilliant, overly ambitious teen. She is just a normal 15 year old who deserves to have a decent enough education without feeling the constant pressure to do well. We talk to other parents and read about all the possible systems. We discuss with the current students of all the boards. Hopefully, the decision regarding her education will be based upon her needs and not what others expect her to choose.

And if I've not blogged lately, there is a reason. My electricity bill hit the roof last month. And I've been thinking, do I continue to be a net addict? Surf, Facebook, Google and blog? Or do I save electricity?

Life is tough sometimes.