Musings

16 years….

16 years of impishness!

16 years of sweetness!

16 years of giggles!

16 years of curls!

16 years of daredevilness!

16 years of coolness!

16 years of asking your brother questions ! πŸ™‚

16 years of mother -daughter disagreements! πŸ™‚

16 years of fun!

16 years of defiance!

16 years of being similar to your mother in personality!

16 years of having a never ending set of friends!

16 years of liking peculiar tastes(sour ice cream, any one? :))

16 years of making your brother smile! πŸ™‚

16 years of making cheeky remarks!

16 years of trying to like cats(based on father’s likes! :))

16 years of frankness!

16 years of outspokenness!

16 years of beautifulness !

16 years of shouldering the responsibility of the “second child” syndrome!! πŸ™‚

Sweet 16, my sweet girl!! Hope you realize your dream and buy Insta some day!! πŸ™‚

Best,

Amma, Daddy and anna

Musings

21 years…

21 years of happiness!

21 years of sheer joy!

21 years of raw brain power!

21 years of smartness!

21 years of brilliance!

21 years of sharpness!

21 years of intelligence!

21 years of being a “brain box”! πŸ™‚

21 years of quietness!

21 years of being a good listener!

21 years of never complaining about my cooking !! πŸ˜‰

21 years of listening to me implicitly! πŸ™‚

21 years of being a teacher to all of us on technical matters!

21 years of never grumbling about anything!

21 years of not being like your mother(appearance or personality! ;))

21 years of inheriting a lot of traits from your grandfathers!

21 years of helping your sister!

21 years of resembling your father !

21 years of being the best son!

21 years of being the best brother!

21 years of being YOU!! πŸ™‚

Happy birthday Bala! May you always have the best in life! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Best,

Mommy, Daddy and Maha!

Family, India, Musings

Miss Cool! :)

You know about Captain Cool, but have you heard about Miss Cool? πŸ™‚ Well, then you have to visit my home to see her…she is my lovely daughter who got 98% in her 10th grade results which were declared on Sunday! πŸ™‚

The pandemic enveloped the world 2 1/2 years ago when she was in 8th grade. Little did we know, the pandemic would keep us all guessing and keeping us on our toes about what would happen next.

As 2020 gave way to 2021 and then to 2022, we were still wondering the same thing:

When will school be able to open safely offline? Will the higher grades be asked to come to school first? Will the vaccines be available to the kids? Will the kids be able to take their vaccine?

Eighth grade went, ninth grade came and went and tenth grade was also here! But school was still online! Kids had to still study with a laptop and she adjusted beautifully. If I had to do so many online classes, I would have surely slept through them all! πŸ™‚ I personally don’t know how she did it and understood the various Math and Science concepts through online learning. There were no physical interactions with her friends – it was only online chats, online parties, online games and more! But I did not see her grumble one bit…she was just the usual laughing and goofy person! πŸ™‚

By middle of 2021 though, the two prominent Indian boards decided to conduct two semester exams instead of the traditional one board exam. Even though students did online schooling, they had to do two offline exams!

My cool miss of course made it look so effortless! πŸ™‚ She had two bouts of serious sickness but somehow she was always smiling, playing and studying through it all.

These are her reactions for different things:

One board exam – okay – I will do it

Two board exams – okay – I will do it

Portions cut – ok – not a problem

Sit at home all day with rest of family getting stressed – ok – not a problem! πŸ™‚

Of course, I was always behind her – telling her to study, but she had this sweet and smiling way of doing things!

She also had an in-house tutor at hand(;) – my son) who could clear her most difficult questions and queries about the various subjects. She will sit with her books, get distracted with her social media memes and platforms, get yelled at by me and go about doing her work in a totally nonchalant way(ha, ha)

My teacher:

All teens sit on Instagram with different handles and profile pictures, so that their parents cannot guess who they are! πŸ™‚ My Miss Cool was no different and I was behind her on Instagram as well to see what she was doing! She taught me various teeny-bopper things on Insta and I just admired kids and their creativity!

She also taught me different words and their meanings and I just blinked trying to understand it! πŸ™‚ These are some of her words:

“Amma, this person is so suss” (meaning – “This person is so suspicious”)

“Amma – Facebook is for old people”(ha,ha)

“K-pop is the genre and BTS is the band name”(me – face palming! :))

“Amma – you are always stressed” (Gosh, I was never stressed before I had kids!! ;))

“Amma – you are helicoptering me too much” (ha, ha – we mothers have to do it – don’t we? ;))

Miss Cool could also easily carry ethnic clothes without any squirming and grumbling. She was just as comfortable in shorts as in half-saree! πŸ™‚

She is also my first cyber security student who follows my cyber security teachings diligently. She never shows her face anywhere and is prudent in her social media postings(I hope! :)) She reads most of my tech and personal posts and gives her reviews critically! πŸ™‚ She has her own blog too and is a “trying poet”!! πŸ™‚

The only place when Madam Cool becomes Madam hot is if food is not to her like, composition and texture!! πŸ˜‰ Apart from that, all is cool!! πŸ™‚

My dear daughter, I hope you stay cool all your life and accomplish all the things that you want to do ! Good luck for 11th grade and beyond!

Lots of love and cheer,

Amma, Daddy and Anna!

Book review, Travel, Travel, Michigan, US

Book Review: The Indian Retirees guide to road trips in the USA

Title: The Indian Retirees guide to road trips in the USA

Author: Brinda Vijay

About the book: The author has covered numerous destinations in the US and has described them vividly with pictures and words. Having lived in the US from 1996-2010, I loved reading this book and looking back on fond memories. I was almost travelling with her from East coast of the US to the West coast of US and having a good time! πŸ™‚ I have visited most places along the East Coast of US from New York City to Mackinac Island in Michigan and this book made me go back 15 years! πŸ™‚ These places are a delight to visit and I hope everybody gets a chance to visit them some time.

I have not visited the West Coast of US as much and it was fun to read about the destinations there. It was exciting to read about the Bonneville salt flats, rodeo, skiing and the miraculous stairway at Sante Fe, New Mexico. I hope to catch all these destinations when I visit US sometime! πŸ™‚

I liked the fact that Brinda has provided good Indian restaurants at all the places that she has visited. It was also nice to read about why retirees should travel. “Travel broadens the horizons” is my motto and I totally agree with her reasons. I also liked the fact that there is a ‘Table of Contents’ hyperlink given at the bottom of many pages, so that the reader can easily navigate to another chapter.

A great book that is tempting me to visit the US again! πŸ™‚

You can download Brinda’s book from this link:

https://www.theblogchatter.com/download/the-indian-retirees-guide-to-road-trips-in-the-usa-by-brinda-vijay

You can also download my book from this link:

https://www.theblogchatter.com/download/memories-of-my-father-by-jayanthi-manikandan

Book review

Book review: Tales for Wise Living

Title: Tales for Wise Living

Author: Dr.V.Sowmyanarayanan

About the Author: Dr.V.Sowmyanarayanan is a Professor by profession, a blogger and also a mridangam artist, painter, and a music lover. He shares his works regularly through his blog titled β€œGOCARAM” means β€œperception.” He is a multi-linguist and his thorough knowledge and interest in ancient scriptures, enabled him to work upon an editorial assignments. He does programmes such as talks, quiz, stories etc., in All India Radio, Chennai to promote & propagate languages like Sanskrit & Hindi.

About the book: Ancient Sanskrit Literature is a treasure trove of information and I myself have been enamoured by it. Panchatantra and Hithopadesa are two popular Sanskrit works that are rich in values. While Panchatantra was supposedly written by Sri Vishnu Sarma, Hithopadesa was written by Narayana Pandita. ‘Tales of Wise Living’ translates these ancient works into simple readable format for the users.

‘Tales for Wise Living’ contains 28 little stories based on Panchatantra, Hithopadesa, Maha Bharatha, Markandeya Puraana. ‘Tales for Wise Living’ contains seventeen stories from the Panchathanthra, six from the Hithopadesa, four from the Maha Bharatha and one from the Markandeya Puraana.

It is quite interesting but I have read all of them before and enjoyed them all. Dr. Sowmyanarayanan simplifies all the tales and makes it easy to read. While I have read the translated works earlier, it was nice to see the moral of each story in Sanskrit written below each story as well. The simple values that these tales pass on to current and future generations is really wonderful. Some of the simple tales are ‘Hare and Lion’, ‘Tiger and Greedy Man’, ‘Wisdom is a boon’ and more.

‘Tales for Wise Living’ is a must read for this generation and re-read for older generation which will take them back in time!

Do download the book for free from this link:

https://www.theblogchatter.com/download/tales-for-wise-living-by-dr-v-sowmyanarayanan

You can also download my book from this link:

https://www.theblogchatter.com/download/memories-of-my-father-by-jayanthi-manikandan