Elevate & life lesson

Today’s conversation with my son: (As I was getting him ready for the school)
Me: Ilam, amma has an event tomorrow.
Ilam: Where?
Me: Coimbatore.
Ilam: When will you go?
Me: Early in the morning, before even you wake up.
Ilam: Athan when? Time sollunga?
Me: 4.30 am.
Ilam: Oh.. So early. Ok. When will you come?
Me: By 7.30 pm.
Ilam: Ok. Usual time thaan.
Me: I will keep everything ready. Samathaa settai pannama school-kku kelambikko. Ok kanna.
Ilam: Hmm..
(thinks for a while and comes back)
Ilam: Amma, don’t play Elevate without me. Come home and we can play together. (Elevate is a game that I/we play daily. One of my daily routine where my current streak is at 481 days)
Me: I can’t guarantee that. I might play when I get time. It is not that I have to play the game only with you. Ok. (I usually break routines that he gets into. Because, he can’t accept changes and so I keep changing small routines too)
Ilam: OK then. You have to choose the less scored game. (He will see the difficulty levels and scores of the 2 alternates that are available and he will apply a lot of logic to it and then choose the game to play).
He continues, otherwise, it will be like ‘Rich get richer and poor get poorer‘ amma. The games with higher scores keep coming up and if you keep playing the same, they will get more marks and keep going up. While those games with less scores will not get the chance at all and stay at a lower score. You have to give chances for the lower score games too, amma. Then only they can also come up. Ok Va.
Me: (I was so happy to hear that, mom’s pride) So sweet baby. Love you, dear. Remember, you should apply this to people as well. Giving equal chances to all people. Ok. And don’t get upset when you don’t get a chance.
Ilam: (Thinks for a while and then says) Fine.
Love you sweetheart. Wish you become more and more compassionate with fellow human beings and excel in your life. 😍

Europe Trip – Part 5 – Italy – Rome

Note: This post has been in draft for close to 18 months. I am completing it for the record sake. This trip was in May 2017. It was a 15-day trip spanning 3 countries. For continuity, read in order.

Part 1: Paris

Part 2: Switzerland

Part 3: Venice

Part 4: Florence

Part 5: Rome

It was again a 2-hour train journey from Florence to Rome. Europe is well connected with trains and that is the best way to travel between European cities/countries. We stayed in an apartment complex, more like a homestay and this was the 2nd best place (next to Switzerland stay).  The rooms, restrooms, room key chains, breakfast basket, to the coffee mugs in the kitchen were all colour coded. We made the best use of the small kitchen and were fortunate enough to have our beloved friends cook yummy pasta for all of us. We also got our portion of jeera water in the night, for the amount of cheese that we consumed throughout the day. 😜

Day 13: 09/05/2017: Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Colosseum night view.

It was almost lunchtime, by the time we settled in our rooms and got ready. So, first thing first. We went to a nearby pizzeria and filled our stomach and then set out to local sightseeing. It was bus number 5 or 14, from our hotel to Roma Termini. And Roma Termini is the central place from where we need to take other buses to all other landmarks.

First, we went to Spanish steps, spent some time there and from there walked to all other places. The climate was actually hot and ours is a cool group to enjoy any place any time. We walked to Trevi Fountain and then literally ran all the way till Pantheon, so as to enter it before it was closed. We had a short break for coffee/ice cream.

I almost used it (coffee/ice creams) as a carrot to make the group walk to various places. On an average, we had walked 10km per day. (160 km in 16 days). 👍

We had time and so decided to visit Colosseum for the night view. The lighting on the monument along with the full moon in the sky was a visual treat to the eyes. After spending enough time rounding the monument, we went back to our rooms.

 

Day 14: 10/05/2017: Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Basilica, Castel Sant Angelo.

The next day, our main agenda was the Vatican city. We had booked the ticket the previous day itself. Being the smallest country, it adds on as another country we have visited in this trip. Even though the plan was to cover 3 countries (France, Switzerland and Italy), officially it became 5, with the inclusion of Vatican and Germany (Day trip to Black forest region from Zurich).

We spent enough and more time in the Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel, and by the time we reached Saint Peter’s Basilica, the queue was very long, we had to skip the idea of entering the Basilica and took pictures from outside. So, we had time to go to the Sant Angelo castle and that completes day2 in Rome.

 

Day 15: 11/05/2017: Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Piazza Venezia

The main agenda for day3 was to enter the Colosseum. But, that day was a local strike and the bus/train didn’t run their regular routine. We managed to take cabs and reached Colosseum. Then we stood in the queue and went inside to view the historical monument. After spending sufficient time there, we walked all the way around the Palatine Hill seeing all the Roman ruins.

After lunch, we walked till Piazza Venezia. Spent the rest of the day roaming in and around that place and then reached our rooms.

 

Day 16: 12/05/2017: Shopping

We have covered almost all the places and this being the last day of our trip, wanted to spend it shopping and eating. We all ended up buying so many souvenirs, handbags, dresses, accessories and chocolates, we ended up buying another travel luggage for the extra stuff that we bought. 😆

 

Day 17: 13/05/2017: Check out and fly back to Chennai

Final day. We flew back to Chennai with loads of memory. This is the best and most unforgettable trip for all of us. Till the last minute, we never thought we will do this trip. In spite of all the hindrances, we were all happy that none of us missed this wonderful trip. Love you all ladies. Come, let us discover the rest of the world too. 😍

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8 today

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Happy Birthday my dear Ilam.

He is such a charming boy, bubbling with high energy all the time, keeping me on my toes always. His thirst for learning can never be quenched. There is so much for us to learn from him.

When we wished him “Happy Birthday” in the morning, he said, “Wish me at 12.25 pm. That is when I was born. Until then, I am 7 only. I will be ‘7 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 59 mins’ at 12.24 pm and I become 8 years old at 12.25 pm. So, wish me again at 12.25 pm.” 🙂

Walking Wikipedia. Chitti Robot. Nerd. Little Champ. Perfect Time Machine. Rules Ramanujam. Sincere Sigamani.  These are some of the ways people call him. Others being laddoo, bugs bunny, bubbloo, sweety, cutie, and what not.

He is the lifeline of our house. My dear baby, (I keep calling him baby, and, he keeps correcting me saying, he is not a baby), wishing you all the happiness, good health and prosperity, lots of love and peace, today and forever in your life. 😍

Environment – Science project

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My girls were to do a project on the topic – ‘Environment’. After a lot of discussions, they concluded on doing a model of 5 elements of Nature and its natural disasters.

Air – Tornado

Water – Tsunami

Fire – Forest fire

Earth – Earthquake

Space – Meteor crater

 

One week of hard work by my girls, from idea validation to preparing paper mache, doing the model, drying it, painting it, preparing a box for it, fixing them all together, all these in addition to other school works.

Two of them were working models.

1. The tsunami was done as a sliding box with before and after effects of the disaster. The small buildings and the wave were done using paper mache and painted. Then assembled in a sliding box, which was also handmade using a cardboard box.

2. The earthquake was a simple motor mechanism. 2 motors fixed to the same switch and assembled in a box and fitted in a way to produce the shaking effect on the paper kept above it. Then, the paper was painted as a road with buildings made of cardboard to be kept above to demonstrate the shaking effect of the building, at the control of a switch.

Others (tornado, meteor crater and forest fire) were just models from cardboard and paper mache. Forest-fire has a lightning in the centre of it, that has caused the fire.

To place all these models, cardboard boxes were done and assembled and labelled. All handmade. My girls were very cautious that no plastic and no thermocol was used. All eco-friendly materials, except for the 2 toy wheels for the motor. That also, they didn’t accept. I didn’t have any other choice and had to convince them to use it.

After all the efforts, everything was ready and then found out that, there was a spelling mistake in the heading. (Disasters was misspelt as Disaters). Oh! NO. Then, again last minute changes and corrected it and it was all ready.

Super satisfied with their hard work.  Good job my girls. 🙂

Ilam & Polish language

45175844_10155702866491479_6367479317730951168_n Ilam comes to me with this new rough note that I had bought for him and says “Amma, you are crazy. Why did you buy a notebook that had things written in Polish?”

I was like, “What? Come again?”

He continues, “Yes. This is Polish, the language spoken in Poland.”

“How do you know this is Polish?”, was my next question, like any of us would have asked, for which he goes on to explain the alphabets in Polish and reconfirms his statement.

Still not convinced with his explanation, (because I don’t know the language) I did silently use google translator to actually reconfirm that it is Polish.

No idea as to what other languages he knew, all of them being self-learning.

What do I do with this guy? I just squeezed him with a tight hug. What else can I do? 🙂

Navarathri-2018

IMG_6956Navarathri is always a special festival for me. It is a time where you get to meet lots of people.

This year was a fun filled one. I managed to visit all those who invited me. While most of the golu visits were within the apartment, I did travel to far of places to meet and greet friends.

Our apartment also had a grand gathering every day, with a lot of cultural programs, dancing, singing, instrumental, bhajans, prayers and the hall was full of positive vibes. From tiny tots to senior citizens, people of all ages gathered together for the function. Of course, plenty of sweets and sundals too. Altogether, a happy and content feeling. Wishing all my friends, loads and loads of happiness, love, peace and prosperity.  Pictures of some of the golu’s that I happened to visit.

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Daily 5 KM Walk – 100 days & counting…

How do I start this post? Well… Let me just jot down the bits of information that I wanted to share.

IMG_5192I am a fitness freak. I cautiously spend some time for physical fitness. I have tried various classes too. Power yoga or aerobics or regular training in the gym or even walking. But many times have to miss on them and feel bad for it. All of us do it right.

So, a few days (almost 100 days) ago set a personal goal for myself. A simple one. But, have to do it DAILY. NO EXCUSE. It is a self-challenge. Let me try it, was the thought then.

In these past 100 days, I have been in different places, across geographies, across time zones, for work, official events, interviews, customer visits, meetings, work schedules, kids exams, various functions, family get together, outing with kids and what not… I have been sick, down with cold, cough, fever, headache, leg pain and sometimes emotionally down too. But, nothing stopped me from my regular routine.

 

 

Goal: Minimum 5 KM walk per day, continuously on all days. 

I used the RunKeeper app to keep track of my schedule. There were 3 instances where the app crashed and couldn’t record correctly. 🙂  Well, the app is only a facilitator. It is more in the mind to get your schedule done. There is no fixed timing for my walk. I have walked in all times of the day. Early in the morning to late in the night.

There were lots of crazy instances where my friends/colleagues/people around, looked at me like a specimen from a different planet when I had to keep up my schedule. 🙂

But, I am happy to have done it continuously for 100 days now. I plan to continue as far as I could. It is easily said than done. But, I will try and do it regularly. Wishing Good Luck for myself. 👍