Category Archives: LE FUTTED BALLON-life with the girls

now there’s a nice word !

Some days ago,  I played a few rounds of the game “Hangman” with them.

Noor constructed a word that I’ll remember for a very long time.

After I’d guessed the 2 letters that made up the last 4 of the 9 letter word, the first five seemed kind of obvious. I mean, the 5 letters to come before the last 4 -which were “Mama”- would have to be “sweet”, no? Or so my eager heart wanted it to be ! But I thought I should leave the surprising and delighting of me to her, so went around the alphabet making the wrong choices so as not to “get” it in time. And I was, finally, surprised and delighted with the word anyway, for it wasn’t “sweetmama” after all but “suitemama”.

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More great music

As I searched for Jethro Tull songs on You Tube tonight, I also re-discovered “A Classic Case”, an album that features pieces of Jethro Tull’s music as played by the London Symphony Orchestra.

Very nice too…Or may be it sounds so special because it is the music I grew up on, in a way, in college.

And now of course, with Indira I am discovering and enjoying the sounds of a whole new set of singers – Shakira, the Black Eyed Peas, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga !

Although, given the kind of visuals many of these songs come with, I am very thankful to the people who’ve created Spotify, the online radio, that this option exists ….

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The magic of Ian Anderson’s flute

Tonight, the memory of two pieces of music came back to me out of nowhere, though I haven’t heard either – “Elegy” and “Bourree”, both by Jethro Tull – in years.

The first, especially, is just sublime.  I had the girls listen to it as well, though they were in bed already. They enjoyed the chance to jump back up, mostly, but liked the music too, I think.

The pieces are available here and here.

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What was that again?

There was an amusing moment tonight as we finished dinner, when Indira said, “I like your new karela! ”

It took me a few seconds to realize that she was referring to the new karahi that I have brought back from Mumbai. But then it dawned on me that this vessel is what she had in mind, as she’d just helped me pour the ghee that I made in it this evening  in to a glass bottle.

I guess her Hindi has a way to go yet, though good on her for trying 🙂 She’s obviously picked up the name of the said vegetable during dinner table conversation in India recently, though I don’t think the girls actually ate it in any of the households we visited.

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From the other side of a long vacation

We got back this morning after a long vacation – almost six weeks in India and one in Bangkok.

It feels like it is going to take some time to settle back in. For a while this afternoon, I found myself just wandering around the apartment, not sure about where to begin or what to do.

This is the first time after a holiday like this that I did not unpack right after getting back home. In fact, after a very nice lunch of rajma chawal – thank you, Shefali ! – the girls and I slept all afternoon, which was a first for me.

That made me wonder if this is one more sign that old age is creeping up on me…. But then, later this evening I was glad to see the upside of the passage of years – children who are older too and therefore able to help me unpack and put things away. So much so that the girls even took care of the most important job for today – removing the curry leaves from their stems – I brought back a big bunch of these – so that they could be frozen without delay.

Thank you, Indira and Noor, for all your willing, good-tempered help today.

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A Rocking Kermesse 2010

Today, it was the annual kermesse – a word derived from the Dutch language– or fete in Indira and Noor’s school.

This typically involves a dance performance by every class, followed by food and games stands.

Noor’s class – the moyenne section – were adorable as they did a German polka.

Indira’s class put on an impressive act as they danced to “I’ve got a Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas.

As I watched their well-practiced hip-hop moves, I found myself thinking that this was a far cry from the more sedate stuff we used to do in school all those years ago (cut to a memory of my classmates and me in Grade 5 or 6 or 7, holding candles on stage, dressed in white and singing “God’s love, is so beautiful…” or some such under Sister Manisha’s direction).

This afternoon was so much more fun !

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Helping Hands

Indira and Noor both love to help in the kitchen and I confess I enjoy having willing hands take on all the little chores.

On Saturday we made a carrot cake together. I took some for the baby shower we had for Ayesha at Shefali’s home on Sunday and packed the rest for gouter for the dads and children who obligingly spent the afternoon together at the park in Sophia playing tennis, while the women partied at home.

The highlight of that baking session was that Indira  peeled the carrots. She learned the technique just then but did a remarkably good job anyway.

So this morning as I peeled carrots to make salad for the boulangerie, I found myself missing that help !

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