Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween



Halloween fell on a friday and we had tons of kids knocking on our door asking for a "trick or treat". Really little trick or treaters ambled up being prodded by their doting parents barely knowing what was going on. Some of the costumes were outstanding and unfortunately I did not have the camera ready. It is strange how customs differ from one part of the world to the other. Halloween and Diwali fall around the same time every year. While Diwali requires you to clean up the house and decorate it with lights to attract the Godess of wealth , Halloween needs you to portray the home as if it was haunted with cobwebs/ vampires and witches. As per gaelic myth it is a day when the line between the living and the deceased becomes blurred and as a token of appeasement to the dead spirits treats are offered. It never ceases to amaze me that on one planet different cultures have different beliefs and customs that are so contradictory.
Luckily today we have Antariksh at home for an overnight stay. Aayush is possibly on his last Trick or Treat trip ( last year in high school).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Diwali Weekend- U of T Open House

Diwali is this Tuesday. Oct 28. I was informed that I need to take some vacation days -- perhaps three. With the bulk of my annual vacation still intact, that was not a problem and Don (my boss) has been advised that I would be away ( not that it makes any diff). While in India the smells and the slight change in temperatures would be indicative of the arrival of the festive season, here in Canada the beautiful fall colors are natural Diwali usherers. The pic below is of just outside our home. While it shows the fall colors to some extent but its more an indication of how quickly the winter is creeping in on us. The trees have started to go bare ( see the fallen leaves on the lawn)


While Diwali is around the corner we also had a Univ Open house for U ofT. Anita and I along with Aayush went down to the St George's campus embedded in the down town core. We visited the Engg faculty and the Rotmans school of commerce for business studies. Interestingly like Waterloo which has a Co-op program ( work 6 months and study six months) U of T offers a PEY ( Professional experience year) for 12-16 months after the 4th year. The pros and cons were explained to us and like all good parents we took it all in unsure how we were to effectively utilize the info. The wealth of info gathered has been added to the spreadsheet that will be utilized to finally select the course for Aayush

video




On Sunday afternoon we gathered together for a Diwali party and had the usual fun and games, besides the delicious Indian food. Anita and Mala were co-organizers (with Mala doing most of the spade work and ofcourse Mini without whom we would not have had the room) and they quickly got the party off to a good start by Beny initiating the introductory game. Quite a few folks at the party were new to each other(mala's Doha connection) and the game helped in getting the crowd talking. There was an elderly couple who regaled us on how they got married and sang a few songs before they caught a flight to NJ.
One surprising aspect of party's in Canada is how a party moves into an empty room at a particular time, sets up the furniture, the food moves in, decorations are done , the guests move in , the music starts- mikes appear, games are organized, food is served and consumed. At the time the room needs to be vacated, everyone pitches in to wind up and the room is left bare and tidied up the way it was when we entered. Compare this to an event in India!!!
Later we all drove to a park next door and burst some crackers. The wind and the cold was not a deterent but after 30 mins it suddenly started hailing. That prompted us to call it a day and wishing each other a happy diwali we all rushed back to the warmth of our cars. Though our party got over I realized that the actual Diwali function is still to come up on Tuesday. We expect Antrix back for a few hrs on Diwali day for the puja. It will be good to be all together again albiet for a few hours.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

KarwaChauth



The festival of KarwaChauth fell very appropriately on Fri, Oct 17th. I was able to get away early from work and ferry the four lovely ladies (top pic) to the temple. They were on the last leg of their fast and dressed in their finery and beautifully decorated "thalis" we arrived at the temple. The rush at the temple was unbelievable. It was as if we were in India. It is hard to believe that there are so many Indian families here in Mississauga/ Brampton. Due to the rush we ( Mukesh & me )never got to the inner sanctum of the temple where the main ceremony was held and only the ladies made it there. ( Kulu should have been with Mukesh & me but he got away on some dubious mission of his own)



Later that night after the moon rose at 8.03pm ( those 3 minutes need to be mentioned as at that stage of the fast every second counts ) , we drove to a park where Renu & Anita did their "puja". Due to the cold and the strong wind the puja was done from the shelter of the car. We then returned home & shared a sumptuous meal with Kulu & Renu to wind up the evening and a significant festive occasion.







Sunday, October 12, 2008

Re-Match Sunday



The re-match on Sunday resulted in a 7-5 win for Aayush. That is because I slept late and the sun was in my eye and my rauquet grip was loose and... :)
Good Job Aayush!!
This time I took the camera

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tennis on the Thanksgiving Weekend










The weather was just right for Aayush and me to head out for possibly one of the last tennis sessions of the year. (We had asked Antariksh the evening before and he informed us that he would be upto his neck swamped with work & hence could not make it back with us for the long weekend).Normally when Aayush and I play tennis, we just rally around and get away with double bounces and feel that we are playing very well, but today we played a set. Aayush floored me with a 6-2 win. Great going Aayush!! I was very impressed with Aayush's tennis skills. We have another session planned for tomorrow - I am hoping to set the record straight :) - not very likely given his current form and his killer forehand.
PS: I forgot the camera again -- these images are from my BB camera and hence hazy

Friday, October 3, 2008

Aayush


There comes a time in your life that you suddenly realize that your son is now grown up and he needs to be treated differently. The norms of checking him on every trivial issue and monitoring his every move now becomes stifling to a fledgling teenager. While he is trying desperately to break out of his "childish" image , we the parents try and hold on to the protective role that we have had all along. This role I realize now has to change to that of an advisor or a friend. The difference is subtle and its all in the way you approach the subject. Its kinda difficult for Anita and me to change but as Aayush very wisely put it -- We ( both Aayush & us ) needed to be strong to face this challenge. Who ever said parenting was difficult when the kids were toddlers-- the real test is when they get into their teens. seeing it from this angle I am both excited and a bit apprehensive as we slip into this new mode of parenting.