Aviyal-bit of everything

Archive for February 2012

lot of things and moments happened over the last week- long weekend and lot of time with kids, sleep in  2 days(sun and mon slept till 9am), a family get together on saturday, good financial report of the company, a bonus, phone talk with a friend, a heart to heart with auntie,start of lent season,..etc etc

but what stood out?..what needs a special mention? I am thinking..


I have been intending to write about this special someone in my life- Tom, my little sister’s older son, all of 12 years old.

As much as he is a normal kid in many ways, he is not so normal kid in many ways.

Studies: A smart kid in kerala is the one who scores high marks by writing answers on exam papers as taught by the teachers, no rewording, no shortening, no expanding..just as is. Mind you, he studies in a famous CBSE English medium school. And poor Tom, struggles to memorize as is and reproduce. He gets the point, understand the logic and can present the idea in his own words. But no, it won’t suffice to get good marks. Many a times I want to pluck him from there and put him in a school here. He gets reasonably good marks, but not the smart kid marks..He is extremely bright kid. I always feel, he will surprise everyone one day with something extra ordinary.

Cooking: he defies the stereotype here that boys can’t or should not get into the kitchen. Especially very prevalent in kerala catholic families, they are ridiculed in every gathering. Tom gets into kitchen every now and then and cooks up stuff- my sister cooks really really well , as a side note. Month or so back, she was very sick with a viral infection and flu. It was very heartening to know how Tom would make soup for his mom “amma take rest, I will make a good soup for you to make you better”. And he did. Another time, when his dad was coming back home after a week’s business trip, he wanted to make something special for appa- on top of specials his amma made. And he did.

Caring: When we were in India last time, the extended family went on a day trip to hill station. My daughter got bored sitting in the van. Tom entertained her for about 1.5hrs journey playing with her and her Barbie doll. I did not have to worry at all, leaving me all the time to catch up with cousins/aunts/uncles who were in the trip. Of the 6 cousins(my 2 kids, older brothers’ 2 sons, little sister’s 2 sons-tom being the older and Jerry the younger), my daughter was only girl, youngest and felt little left out. Tom always always made sure she was fully enjoying. While shopping, Tom would tell me’ aunty you go look around and pick up stuff, I will take care of her’ and he did.

Tom is very concerned that my parents live alone. He understands all the more that mommy feels much more lonely than my father, without much social interactions and mostly stuck at home. He phones mommy now and then to chat up with her. They are 1.5hrs drive away. Tom insists that my parents come and stay with them. He even asked his parents that ‘why can’t we bring them here’. My sister and BIL are more than willing, but my parents don’t go there that often.

Yeah, he is a non conforming kid in many ways. I hope and pray that he never gives into this stereotype gender thing- boys can’t cook, can’t show emotions, can’t show caring nature. Love you Tom, God bless you dear child.

And guess what, he is the sports champion in his school this year. Heard that he has been practicing going on stage and getting his trophy on the school annual dayJ


I missed posting LMTs many thursdays.

Maha has weekly LMT posts. As I was reading UL’s and enKay’s LMT posts today I went back to the original reason why I started this series. The process of writing down that special moment which happened in that week, gives me an opportunity to pause, cherish, appreciate and count my blessings. I also realized that most weeks when I missed posting it, the going was tough and frustrating some purely due to laziness. In that state of mind it is hard to find a LMT. But I guess, it is important to find that LMT especially when going is tough. That LMT could be like ‘Boost for Sachin’ -the energy drink

So here making a renewed promise to regular LMTs.

That is my LMT.’.tube light’ moment for the week

told to me by molu

‘Mama, say Waffles, not Vaffles.. and say Marshmellows..not mashmellows..that is mashed potatoes..ok, I get it..you are very Indian mama. Nobody taught you sounding out the letters correctly.. yeah you told me that”

observed by molu

Sitting in a soccer pratice viewing gallery, molu whispered in my ears ” that lady is Indian”. “how do you know?” asked me. ” 2 things, she has brown skin like us and she is wearing indian ear rings”


in the elevator this evening. 2 ladies got in when it stopped at 3rd floor- different office.

” was wondering where Rachel has gone?. I could not believe”

” She should the last person to gte a stroke. she always eat good healthy things and work out”

“yeah, it does not matter what you do. better go eat some french fries today, what difference it makes?”

“nothing it seems”

Door opened at the parking level, they went their ways. I went and worked out for an hour, hoping that it will make some difference. And did not eat french fries..


Recently a classmate of mine announced to our class yahoo group that she is now the Vice Principal of an Engineering college for Women in (wherelse) Kerala. Really, a women only engineering college?

My classmate is a smart girl, got married when we were in 5th semester( mind you though mallu origin she grew up in Gujarat and was 1 of the 3 girls who could speak in English well), and was running Tuition centre for Engineering students.

The post is not about her. I was quite shocked to learn that there are professional colleges only for Women. I realized how disconnected I am to the realities in kerala. Why did she take that position?. The school is highly marketed by her as the only Air conditioned engg college; it is primarily targeted at NRIs. None from the group raised any concern similar to mine( neither did I). I sincerely am hoping that this got people thinking and everybody is mum to be polite to her. I was even more shocked one of the classmates sends in email asking her to reserve a seat in advance for his daughter. My hope is fading fast at this point.

Most Keralites have no concept of gender equality, there is no free interaction between girls and boys, girls are always protected, only bad girls talk to boys. By segregating the genders even more at this young adults age, what are they trying to achieve? What happens when they come out (of course in flying colors and marks) to join the work force? Where do they learn the skills to work in a company with men and women? Or soon there will be women only companies?. Social education is almost zero even in professional schools. But in a mixed atmosphere you learn the ropes and make you heard when doing project together, participate in activities etc. None of the subjects we learnt helped us in a job directly when we entered workforce ( it may not be true for tuition/ teaching position), but these social skills helped tremendously.

All that ‘tremendous’ skill of mine was nothing when I got out the well, move to North and tried to find a job. All around me people are interacting freely, fluent in communicating in English. Me? I was so scared to even call a phone number for a job posting my confidence level was zero, scared what if I don’t understand my English or vice versa, Is it a man or women picking the call at the other end.

Apparently the so called educated people have not changed their attitude, only got verse I guess. So called educated our generation parents are planning to send their daughters to these colleges.

Soon there will be Women only IIMs, IITs, RECs…sigh!

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