Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Snow Walk

Sitting in a couch with a hot cup of coffee and gazing outside the window as the rain makes the place more green and clean - what a sight :) That too when your home juz has more windows facing the road than Wall :)) I was rejoicing this sight for the last few months. But now...its more pleasant and fun. Why pleasant - because its this white beauty snow and why fun because its the same white beauty slightly crystalizing and making even normal roads as skate grounds :)
Gazing is fine and fun, but when you really have to make your ride from home to Gym in this slippery snow it becomes a nightmare. I pay 350 NOK every month for my gymming, its the cheese thing on top to keep you warm for winter - now do I have any excuse to skip Gym? No Chance!!!! and Oh yeah I forgot my sturdy long Winter Shoes that I bought :) They are amazing!!!!!
So now I am getting ready for this snow walk and here comes my Lecturer (no credits for guessing ;))) Advise No 1: Cover yourself fully and properly, dont expose yourself to these sub zero temp you might get knee pain later. Anu: OK Boss. Advise No 2: Do not put your hands into your coat pocket, you might not get balance. Anu: OK Boss. Advise No 3: Bend forward and walk, you get more balance. Anu: OK Boss. Advise No 4: Walk along the path where they have more gravel, it wont slip. Anu: OK Boss. Advise No 6: Walk properly seeing what is down, dont go and stumble upon something (this is a general one for the last 3 years).Anu: OK Boss.
NOw its already late and I just have another 20 minutes to reach my Gym. It generally takes 15 mins. But with this snow walk thing and 5-10 mins set aside in the changing room, the rubber gets ready to hit the road :)
The fun started right outside my doors. I guess that was the worst slippery area of all. With great concentration and balance, managed it. No iPod yesterday'ah, as I had to do this concentration thing :)) But still your mind starts to wander slowly "They hype so much about Neil Armstrong's moon walk, ask him to come and do this slippery snow walk, I vouche - he would say moon walk was cat walk", "Well, its not all that difficult I guess, it juz needs some more concentration and balance, its fun and I am good so far", "Oh god!!! here comes the scariest part, I should cross this successfully",(I am taking the slide near the new Asia Shop, parallel to where your bear statue sits and laughs everytime people fall on its feet ;) ) "Let me not take the road less travelled, I might need some resuce force if I fall down", "snow separately is fun, rain separately is fun, but why does it rain when it is snowing - is it double beauty or double jeopardy??", "I did it, just few meters" - with all these thoughts I finally reached my destination :)
75 minutes of workout - physically - nah!!! It was mentally - how do I do the same thing back home successfully!!!!
Return journey was more challenging as I had to do some grocery shopping and I am weighing few kilos extra now with my backpack loaded with Milk,Curd,Vegetables etc....But I pat my back myself with all positive thoughts and inspiration and the ride starts.
Kids does this snow walk like walking or rather running on normal road (they are kids and they just weigh like feathers), teens are having fun, they are purpose fully running and sliding (well they are born and brought up here, so its ok),middle age crowd does that sturdy walking (they gym,cycle,swim,skii,walk,run and hike okie) the old goldies are the one really having fun, they have this sleigh like board which just goes whooooooooooo....they cross like wind (neccessity is the mother of invention) So you can guess how I would have felt walking infront of all these pros :(( but as long as I was managing without falling,  I too felt like an Indian pro :)) and became a great example for the saying "slow and steady wins the race". Had this step before step walking(what we call adipradhakshanam) been in some Indian temple, I would have got all the favors that i could wish for :)

Now that I have finished my journey, should I say "I am good at my balance and concentration" or "it was just another lucky day"!!!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Another year passed by!!!

It just look like yesterday :) thats what we keep saying as we age every year. As one of my cousin rightly said, Birthday comes with no surprise or delay. Every year means something special to us. Good and bad memories comes in bundle every year. Well, last year was more of fun I should say, I was a busy Mom for my dear Shravan, I have spent all 11 months with him and mostly with him only. Going for a stroll, Watching cartoons, Playing with toys, Reading books, Littering the house with food items, Cleaning and Cooking is what all we did - Werent we busy ? :))
With Shravan's arrival I became a responsible mom and that to after moving to Norway I became/had to become more responsible. With all the three meals to be cooked at home (I hate Norway for this - No restaurant at all, except for Pizzas) I became a better cook. The luxury of Maids!!!! is gone. I still laugh at my India maid's concern on the first call I made "enna ma...vettu velai ku aalu kedaichitangala?" I loved her concern :) But yes I did find one, or found one within me :((. So what more can you ask from a typical home-maker...Baby sitting, cooking and cleaning is most of our routines.
"Let me do something useful", "Let me try my hand at this",etc...I guess this keeps ringing in all the idle minds at home and so did this in 10A Bussedalan as well (Thats my house address ;) ). I have started to explore few of my interests now. Every time I google to learn more about one thing, I start getting interest on something else new. I started to google Origami, I ended up loving Quilling. I wanted to paint - now I am doing on Glass, fabric and also with coffee :). The love for making my own jewelery and just keep making to gift my sister is another new passion. I have started balloon sculpting for shravan. Vegetable Carving is something I am still in gazing youtube stage. Knitting and Threading is always there on the list. Lets see how much of quality time I spend on these in the years to come :)
The long pending trip to Paris happened this year :). It was on the big list of 2008 Europe tour. Our very sorry story of losing our passports in Italy needs a mention here as well. What we planned as a honeymoon trip happened atlast as Shravan's second birthday treat :). My sister's trip here to Norway again was another "always cherished days".
Oh yeah!!! I am a software engineer, I keep telling myself this once in a while so that I dont forget the SDLC, meetings, onsite calls, deliverables, quality, status report (Oh god!!! I am not getting any other terms). I will be starting my work in the third quarter, but PMP before that :). This blog has become more like my yearly appriasal with future goals. I guess indeed it is!!! This is a good exercise to refresh my appraisal writting skill :). So how is going to review my appriasal, ofcourse its YOU!!!!
So If I continue blogging regularly, you can soon see a post next year with more updates from my personal, professionals and passional life.
P.S Forgot to mention, the much awaited snow showed up finally on my birthday. There is a saying right - It rains in the land where good people are born, I guess for Norway, Its snow in the land when good people are born :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Peacock Rangoli with Diyas

Peacock Rangoli with Diyas I think most of us will not be remembering how we celebrated our diwali the first few beautiful years of us. Some parents would have captured few pictures (some black and white pictures) but most of the parents would re-collect from their memories when asked and try to explain. Parents are getting older and with grand kids around, their memories would have refreshed with new memories. Had blogs been there, even our parents could have easily captured every minute of celebration. So, I am going to quickly jot those joyful happenings for Shravan to cherish for the years to come :)

Any clue from the title? - Oh yeah, this blog is all about how Diwali was celebrated here in Kongsberg. What are the first few things that rings a bell in your mind when I say Diwali? - Ok I hear - new dress, sweets, crackers,new movies, diyas etc etc...School days - crackers takes a priority, new movies during teen-age but new dress,sweets and diyas comes always :). Forget crackers being in Kongsberg - only twice a year in a common place that too you just view. New movies - might be in Drammen or Oslo but not in Kongsberg. Shravan doesnt know about crackers much, so I guess he wouldnt have missed it. Oh yeah! he did burst few sparkles last time ;) and I am sure after few webcam calls with his aunt, he will start listening and dancing to 7am arivu and velayutham songs :)

Sweet time - Deciding what sweets, how to prepare starts a week before. Satisfying Ram was a big challenge :). Being dotted in a joint family, he tastes every possible sweets during occassions. Ram's aunt is an expert. So, Anu how do you satisfy his taste buds was one big question running in my mind. When I opened this topic to Ram, he was like do 1-2 sweets and 1-2 savories whichever you are comfortable with!!! and he wanted Badusha or Chandrakala. So do I have a choice?. When I told my cousin that I am going to try Badusha, her instant response was "Badhusha???? hey its very difficult. Mixing the dough is very challenging. In chennai, we are getting readymade mix". Now imagine my state. I still took this as a challenge and how it turned, you can see it ourself :)

Now, Rava Laddus - they came with so much ease and tasted heavenly :)
Oh yeah!I did ribbon pakoda and om podi was well. Ok now that kitchen work is done, its time to explore my rangoli. Took the inspiration from Rashmi's Blog and it did came out well. First was the sketch on the table using chalk.Then was the real challenge of mixing just one small packets of all colors with rice flour to get enough color powder, I did manage decently though :). Then the borders and the final touch was the diyas :))) Will you believe - Shravan was around all the time, sitting and watching his mamma's work from chair and oh yeah he was good body gaurd as well - any kid tries to come and touch he was like "amma, kommam (well that means kolam :)), no, pichu pichu" will you dare to touch? :)). You know what, when I first showed my rangoli to my dear sis through webcam, any guesses on how she reacted - "how did you manage to get a such a big trace paper?"
and then was a sumptuous lunch followed by a evening get-together in a friend's place. Now that all our six senses were re-charged watching 7am arivu is the only thing pending :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Today is Halloween!!!! I actually wanted to say scary Halloween...But this is happy because, its the first Halloween for Shravan and I really dint want to scare him. So, whats this Halloween all about?. Halloween actually means "All Hallows Evening" celebrated on Oct 31st. What do people generally do? - trick or treat , attending costume parties, carving Jack-O-Lanterns, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks, telling scary stories and watching horror films. So What did I decide to do - Carving Jack-O-Lantern offcourse :).The next very obvious question - What to carve? - I didnt want my little mind to wander and google all possible options, I gave the choice to Shravan and got an impulse response - MICKEY!!! how much time was saved :))

Well the prepartion started from Saturday. H(a)unted all possible super markets in Kongsberg to find a nice pumpkin to try our hands. Ram initially skeptical though was ok because he anyways knew he will get his halwa later out of it :)). We finally found our pumpkin in ICA. They had quoted 17.90 NOK but never realised its the cost of per kg and my pumpkin was 5.2Kg. Ended up paying nearly 90 NOK. High Time to learn Norsk - What say??? ;)))

Did a detailed study on Saturday evening as to how to carve step by step and here they go

Assemble all your tools and stencils. Didnt include the scissors and Knifes - reason so obvious - Shravan was hunting behind them. I go to grab the camera, he runs to hold the knifes and Ram happily sits and watches this ;))

Take off the top to clear the gutter inside. You can save them too. We can clean the gutter to get the pumpkin seeds alone, dry them and roast it for a quick snack along with your evening tea :)

You can paint by hand using black paints if you are good at it or tape the stencil along the pumpin and mark dotted images with knifes on top of the stencil. I took the easy route :)

Now the Journey begins. Reading the instructions, it looked like I can complete in other few minutes, but trust me it took few hours to get to this stage. A big thanks to Ram and Shravan for not disturbing me. Shravan will now and then come and peep to see his Mickey getting ready :)

Now to see your work, lit some candle or diya inside the pumpkin and close the top.wow!!!

My Mickey was ready. Did some detailed study on the corrections to be made and took another
sweet one hour to get it as neat as possible and this is how it finally looked in the total dark.

So, Happy Halloween!!!! I know this is incomplete without a pic of shravan holding his Mickey and Halwa for Ram. Will keep you posted :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011


What's the good of news if you haven't a sister to share it? and this quote is just being apt to me for the last 28 years :) Was wondering what to write for my next blog, discussed most my routine in the last blog. But with my sister visiting me (or rather my little brat) for three weeks last month was so much fun. Three weeks then seem like 3 minutes but 3 good weeks to sit back and cherish now. Yes, this blog is dedicated to my one and only cute'st sister SUDHA.

I have spent my last 30 years with her. But what made these 3 weeks so special?. - Me being away from my family, or My sister being away from her Mr. Jilpu (Thats the first pet name my son got :)). Elder sister's kids are the world for younger sister - and my sister is no exception to it. Sitting and watching your sister playing with your kid and parenting him - What a scene -Every minute of it is worth an Oscar for the best sentimental movie. Agree???

I always had a guilt feeling (I think I still do have) of bringing my kid all the way to Norway while he was being pampered to the core in India by his aunt and grand parent. I know he means the world to my sister. So their dating after 4 months was such a relax to me!!!!!

So much was planned over the phone for months to-gether on how to spend everyday. What meal to cook, what movies to watch together, where to roam around, how to spend time with our little naughty don and I guess the list will be incomplete without catching up the gossips back in India ;)). Cooking didnt happen too much though, but we did watch a couple of movie or rather a movie everyday :). A week trip to Paris, Weekend trips within Norway, Daily trips to supermarket and my dear son's second birthday bash will always be cherished :)

Sometimes the motherly affection towards her makes me feel really special. She is just two years younger, but most of the time she is like my sweet two year old daughter. Imagine managing such a sweet sister and really terrible two year old son in one place. Trust me, it was FUN :)

Sisters don't need words. They have perfected a language of snarls and smiles and frowns and winks - expressions of shocked surprise and incredulity and disbelief. Sniffs and snorts and gasps and sighs - that can undermine any tale you're telling.

We may look old and wise to the outside world. But to each other, we are still in school - Isnt it?

The way we behave with people, talk to them, react to their activities might vary person to person or with situation to situation as we grow on, but with your sister its always the same. You and she both show our arrogance, innocense and behave nonsense but deep within we behave just like how we behaved from the day we know each other. She is the one who gives you a little bit of childhood always that can never be lost.

She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney and your devil's advocate!!!! and she is the best gift I can ever ask my parents :) Love you Sistu!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Ready to Blo(u)g

Its been exactly 10 months now......break from being a software engineer running around resources to get things done, starring (or rather working) computers atleast 10 hours a day, travelling 2 hours everyday to reach my work place, missing all the fun my son does at home, even more sad part is my sister enjoying every momemt with him and narrating all the fun they had when I reach home with a such a tired face(Its been a tough day hah!!, Yeah all 5 working days weree the same :( )!!!!! Then came an enlightment....Courage to take a break from work, passion to persue things that pleasures me and of course the motherly affection...SHRAVAN...is that magical word. Hurray!!! I am going to be a full time mom...just for shravan and only shravan the next one year....well this is how I turned from a software engineer to a full time mom.........not knowing what is going to happen :))

P.S I Quickly sent this to Mr. Ram (my dear husband and my full time senior manager for next 1 year). I expected his reaction - "madam, where is the mention of your care-taker, fund provider etc etc?".So let me try to be little humble here and say a thanks to him for supporting me,(financially..hehehe) troubling me (make me cook 3 times a day!!! :( ), annoying me (all day in office and busy with remotes and laptop in the evening), helping me (dont assume big things here...its all like switching off the light, closing the windows, Ram...I know I am mean here :)) ) and ofcourse loving me :))

Well...Why blogging after 10 months now???....I was that typical working home changing to home-maker....boasting myself to my friends, when at home - I will read more now, I can make it to the gym everyday, I will try all types of cooking, I will watch all the good tv programs,movies etc, Persue some serious hobbies. Do lot of travelling, Do some good photography and ofcourse 24*7 around Shravan. On the whole, I will be a happy person keeping people around me more happy!!!!

But What really happened?....Read more - I dont even get time to read newspaper everyday. Gym - I visited yesterday after a solid one month break with no good reason. Cooking - the routine!!! Its the apt word to describe now. Tv programs,movies - forget TV programs, Movies...the latest movie I watched is "DABAANG" in Hindi and "MYNAA" in Tamil. Hobbies - I have a storey of things still unpacked to start the work. Travelling - Oh Yeah Yes!!! everyday to the different supermarkets to buy groceries. Photography - Its only SHRAVAN all the time :).

Have I become lazy not doing what I wanted to do?. Am I cribbing for not continouing work? Is my husband not supporting?. Is my son troubling me too much?. Have I become less organised?. Have I lost interest? - When you are angry, all these questions will be answered "YES" but when you really sit back and think (hehehe...that only when shravan sleeps in the afternoon and fortunately I dont fall asleep before him :)) most or all of them will be answered "Not really".

So, to see, feel and share what it is being a full time mom is all this blog about. I will start sharing some of the happy moments with Shravan and Ram, the daily routine (I shall ensure not too much though), the good clicks, the new places, my gastronomical journey, my new releases in the craft corner and other things that comes up in the list (and few things that might drop down from the list :) )