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!

exams, Family, India

My girl!

These are not easy times…neither me, your father or brother have gone through such times at your age! The pandemic has made sure that you have not seen your school for the past 2 years and you have not seen your school friends in person for the past 2 years as well! There have been no in-person birthday parties, no sports day, no annual day, less in-person exams, no school bus rides, no bus gossips and no in-person fights… πŸ˜‰ There have been a lot of “no”, “no” and more “no” and “virtual”, “virtual” and “virtual” the past 2 years…..

But I love the way all of you children have taken the pandemic in your stride. You have adapted to virtual classes, virtual birthday parties, virtual art classes, online exams and virtual meetups. You have been in touch with everyone and have a gala time even though virtually! I love you all the more for this!! πŸ™‚

The ICSE boards suddenly decided to change the pattern of exam to two semesters at the last minute and you all adapted very well. All along, ICSE was only focused on “keywords” and now, MCQs popped up at the last minute. All the children adjusted very well and as parents we could only sit in awe and admire the children for their adjustment!

Today the 10th grade ICSE Semester 1 results were declared and I just love your scores. Congratulations for achieving such awesome marks(even though you could have done a tad bit better!! πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ (After all, I am an Indian mother and I have to expect the perfect scores in any exam, don’t I? πŸ˜‰ ;))

You have undergone a lot more this academic year in addition to the pandemic. You had a nasty bout of physical sickness in October that had to get you hospitalized for 2 days. You sailed through it all with your giggly and joyful self(in sharp contrast to your brother! ;)) You appeared for Grade 10 semester 1 physical exams and had a good time in November and December(or did I have good time dropping you and picking you from school? πŸ˜‰ ;))

At 5 ft 3 inches you are the shortest in a family of tallies!! πŸ™‚ Yet, you don’t care about that either and are just happy with yourself!! πŸ™‚ You have a sweet mind of your own and we have our regular mother – daughter fights!! πŸ™‚ We always agree to disagree and have never ending dramas and arguments. If there is one person who never agrees with me in the house – it has to be you!! πŸ™‚ Yet, it is never in a bad taste and I am always surprised how the youngest person in the house never agrees with me… πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

It is also always amusing that you are my sharpest food critic as well! You have your own dressing sense and we both can never agree on clothing attire for you. We have been having attire battles from the time you were in grade 2!! πŸ™‚

You have been teaching me the meaning of acronyms such as “smh”, “idrk”, “yeet” and more…:) sometimes, I feel like I am in a Greek land !! πŸ™‚

Yet, you are one of two people who follow my InfoSec teachings diligently. You do not put your picture anywhere, use a safe and private browser and do not get carried away by social media sharing ! πŸ™‚ You know all the nitty gritty details about OTP, Single Sign on, and other basic InfoSec concepts. You also know that CISSP is a leading InfoSec certification! πŸ™‚ You dreamt of becoming a white hat hacker though that might have changed by now.

Whatever, you wish to be -be,my Girl! πŸ™‚ The world is your oyster!! And I will always be there for you!! πŸ™‚

Now, let us get started for Semester 2 exams of Grade 10!! πŸ˜‰

Love,

Amma, Daddy and Anna!

Family, Humor

Wordle

Have you heard about the new Word game ‘Wordle’ that is supposedly creating ripples around the Internet?

Welcome to yet another addiction just as the third wave looms large! (face palm!)

For the uninitiated – what is ‘Wordle’?

It is the latest game that is rocking the Internet. You can find the game at:

https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle/

It is a one player game wherein the player gets six tries to guess the five letter ‘WORD OF THE DAY

May be the most curious part about the game when I saw it for the first time for me was the yellow, black and green tiles and the they were arranged. It seemed to be some sort of cryptographic algorithm!! πŸ™‚ Why were they arranged that way and what was the reason behind their colors was my first thought….if you are as curious as me, read on to know more…:)

This is how the game is played:

  1. The player has to guess the five letter ‘WORD OF THE DAY’
  2. You get six tries to guess the word
  3. Once the player guesses the WORD OF THE DAY correctly, the tiles turn all green! πŸ™‚

3. You can type a word and if any of the alphabets typed is present in the ‘WORD OF THE DAY’, it will turn yellow similar to the picture below:

As an example in the above case, the alphabets ‘A’ and ‘B’ are present in the ‘WORD OF THE DAY’ but in different positions, so the tiles turn yellow….so the player goes for a second guess…

4. In the second guess, if the player types an alphabet and if it is present at the exact same position as the ‘WORD OF THE DAY’, it turns green…

As an example, the alphabet ‘B’ appears in the exact same place as in the original ‘WORD OF THE DAY’, hence the tile turns green…

The player continues to play the game and guess the 5 letter WORD OF THE DAY by making use of the yellow and green tile clues… till all the tiles turn green….

Once all the tiles turn green within the six tries, the player has guessed the ‘WORD OF THE DAY and is a winner!! πŸ™‚ The result will look like the one given below:

Can you understand this result? In order to understand it, you have to play it…:) come on and click the link below:

https://www.powerlanguage.co.uk/wordle

The primary advantage of playing Wordle is you will definitely improve your English vocabulary!! πŸ™‚

Points to note:

Everyone gets the same WORD OF THE DAY

The alphabet in the green tile can be repeated in the WORD OF THE DAY

You can play it on multiple devices to involve more people

You can share it on various social media platforms and have more fun with family and friends! πŸ™‚

Is it addictive?

I am not sure how addictive it is, but let’s just say that I am waiting for the next Wordle… πŸ™‚

Musings

No

Maybe the most difficult thing for many of us is to say ‘No’ to things we are not comfortable with. This includes saying ‘No’ to family members, friends and colleagues and at work. When I was younger, I could never say ‘No’ to anybody! πŸ™‚ Sometimes, I used to feel that I was getting arm twisted!! 😦 and made to do things against my will! I am sure everybody might have been involved in one or two(or many situations like this! :))

How do we say ‘No’ in the most gentle manner without offending the other person? here are a few things I have learnt over the years:

  1. Time is the most important factor here. We get more confidence to say ‘No’ once we get older πŸ™‚ These days , I can say “No” in any personal or professional relationships and wherever I am not comfortable!! πŸ™‚
  2. Seriously though, I think it is not wise to say a straight “No” in the beginning of your career
  3. Later, in the career with enough experience you can judge and gauge the situation and work accordingly
  4. Personal relationships are a whole other matter – it is very difficult to say ‘No’ if you are young and to your parents especially! πŸ™‚ If you are instructed to meet somebody or call somebody, you may have to do it for sometime but you can always tell politely that you cannot do it ….slowly! πŸ™‚ after you gather some strength and maturity!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
  5. Other family members might follow a similar trajectory – it is good to say ‘yes’ for sometime, but after a while as you get older, you can say ‘No’ to things you are uncomfortable about.
  6. The best way to say ‘No’ is saying calmly that you cannot do it or if the person cannot handle a “No” you can always say you will do it later!! πŸ™‚

How do you say “No”? πŸ™‚ has it been difficult ? But trust me, once you get older, you will not care about anybody and say a “No” very easily!! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Family, Festivals, India, Parenting

Joint family system vs Nuclear family system – which is better?

India is one of the few countries which has a unique family system – the ‘joint family system’. In a joint family system, it is not only the parents who stay with their grown children and their spouse but there may be other members of the family living together as well. There might be two or three generations of a single paternal or maternal lineage living together. There might be a single family head or a group of elderly family members under whose direction the family might thrive. In a joint family system – food, career, religious regulations, responsibilities, finances might all be shared.

The nuclear family came into existence under the Western influence in India. The nuclear family consists only of the mother, father and the children. Once the children grow up, they will embark on their own independent journey. In a nuclear family, the roles and responsibilities might be shared by the husband and wife.

While many think the joint family system is dead in India, it is not. The bigger cities might not see it as much but the joint family system still exists.

Advantages and disadvantages of a joint family system:

The advantages of a joint family system will definitely be the ability to live together with anybody. Caring and sharing might be the motto behind all joint family systems. Trying to live with one’s own family members might not be easy all the time. But the people in a joint family system have definitely mastered it! πŸ™‚ Learning to let go of certain things, adjusting to each other’s personalities, sharing the financial responsibilities are some of the advantages of a joint family system.

Children will be moulded better by learning to live with everybody. Adults will also get the companionship that they will miss in their old age. There might also be more events and celebrations at home. Children might learn the authentic way to celebrate religious festivals rather than Google it! πŸ™‚ In addition, child care and taking care of elderly will not be given to organisations and will be managed in the family only.

The disadvantages of a joint family system might be the same as the advantage of a joint family system(what an irony! :))

No one might be constantly be able to live with everybody all the time and one will feel like they need some “me” time and “alone time”! There is also a possibility that you might be able to take any independent decisions and act on it instantly.

Advantages and disadvantages of a nuclear family:

The advantages of a nuclear family might be:

  1. the ability to take independent decisions and act on it instantly without asking anybody
  2. Not having to manage too many personal relationships
  3. Just the freedom of doing things your own way
  4. Not having to listen to anybody! πŸ™‚

The disadvantages of nuclear family might be a little more different than other reasons. In a nuclear family, in many instances, the financial responsibility might fall solely on the husband’s shoulders. Thus, running a family, managing the household and the children has to be done only by 2 people (which is not an easy task) The husband -wife duo have to run to other people(baby sitters, day care centres, maids, cooks) to smoothly run their life.

So, which is good for whom? That just depends on each person and each husband-wife duo. If they are not comfortable in a joint family setting, it is better they manage alone and brave it all.

However, man being a social animal and we from India loving family and celebration – it is quite a possibility that most Indians cannot live away and alone all the time! πŸ™‚ and they will live in a bit of both families combined together…:)

This post is the seventh post for the BlogchatterHalfMarathon

Family, India

Career or Children?

” Career or Children?” is the eternal question that stumps moms all the world and the answer is never easy…

Most moms as young girls were always motivated to do well academically in school and college and achieve greater corporate goals. Eventually, school life gets over, college life gets over and many ace everything and a dream career begins….All goes well and with good time, matrimony arrives and then motherhood dawns.

Motherhood:

If a marriage doesn’t change a woman’s life drastically, motherhood will. Understanding parenthood for anybody is no easy task. Many children have a personality that is totally the polar opposite of their parents! While moms and dads fret over how to handle the new addition to their lives, mothers feel more responsibility towards the child ( and the society always emphasizes this) and therein starts the trouble.

The dilemma:

Most women opt for a maternity break that might span a few weeks or months post the arrival of the child in their career. While fathers return back promptly, most mothers struggle with the decision to get back to work full time.

Even after the child is 6 months of age, while some mothers do return back to their jobs, there are many mothers who are still on the fence about whether to return back to work or not. Many mothers areΒ  “worry warriors” – who are never sure whether their child will get the same care that they can give.

Weeks turn into months and sometimes even years pass by and some women are faced with the same dilemma – “Should I get back to work and hope everything falls into place or should I wait for more time till the child is older?” And sometimes, the child crosses their teenage and moms are still pondering the same question!! πŸ™‚

By this time many mothers lose the interest and energy to get back to work full time… 😦 Some mothers even return back to work and again quit because of “mom guilt” or any other misadventures.. 😦

And if there is more one child in the picture, the responsibilities quadrupule. While most women multi-task a variety of responsibilities – it is still a big juggling act to manage work, home,children, parents, in-laws and all family! πŸ™‚ (and if you are in a nuclear family living away from everybody, then the difficulty is to manage everything on your own) In addition to normal household functions, there are also sick children, homework, class tests, exams, projects and even more responsibilities that add everyday.

success-2697951_1920 (1)

Many women quit their high flying careers entirely or change course from their field of study. For example, as a young girl she might be a Computer Science graduate or an MBA – but due to motherhood and home responsibilities – she might become a teacher(so that she can step out with the kids and step back in with the kids) or a writer(can write from home!!) πŸ™‚ Many mothers readΒ  job description with keywords such as “work from home” , “flexible work options”,”remote work” and they are absolutely delighted! πŸ™‚

This is not to say all mothers put their careers on hold when motherhood arrives..many juggle home and full time work very well and hats off to all of them! πŸ™‚

My experience:

Overall, I think if you wait too long to get back to full time work, most lose the energy and the motivation for the corporate grind. So, for women who are very passionate about their careers, it is just good to restart full time work after just a year of being off….(more feasible in India) – anything more than that – the industry is also moving ahead and we also cannot keep up!

In the end, it all works out well with a little crease here and there… πŸ™‚

So, if you like to work – just keep doing it! πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day! πŸ™‚