Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Let the good times roll

The house is literally bursting at the seams out here at kennys. I don't understand how this can happen. We have a fairly large area of house. Sure, its constructed in totally weird angles, and there is a large-ish room like part meant for washing cars or communal bathing (or something), which is sort of a waste (since I am not into that sort of thing anymore). But still...

Its the kids, of course. They occupy a lot of space. Yesterday, for example, they decided to move in hordes. First one would get up and walk down the stairs. The rest would immediately (and rather loudly), follow. Then another one would climb back up and go into the bunk bed. The rest, would, of course, attempt to follow suit. Resulting in much yelling (by me), some crying (by the monster), and the occupying, rather, annexing, of other parts of the house. My parents-in-law have given up on their routine since the kids are all over their room, watching their TV, sitting on their remote so they cannot change channels. They are forced to watch, in sequence, CBeeBees & IPL, every night. Through the day I don't allow any TV so at least they are spared that.

We have trampled all over our road. I swear that before all the kids came home here, we have not walked so much on our road. We have two cycles. One is mine and the other is the monsters. Somehow these cycles are shared, double rides are arranged, and when its someone else's turn to ride the cycle, there is running and jumping. I think the cars are trying to work out a new route to take, avoiding our road entirely every evening!

The days are flying past in a whirl of chocolate milk, mangoes, oatmeal, lunch (its amazing how each of them have their own unique specific way of eating lunch, and it gets worse at dinner with the rotis thrown in the mix), mangoes, videos, IPL, cycling, swimming, and libraries. The little one (my niece, aged 3), doesn't notice that she is about 1/4th the size of the older ones (my other niece and nephew, aged 12 & 10, respectively). The monster, being in between the two sets of cousins, at 7, and being rather harshly judged by her parents, is desperately trying to extract enough fun to last a lifetime. The older niece has learnt swimming (more or less), with our guidance. The monster has learnt cycling (including doing tricks on the bike) thanks to some rigorous practice trying to catch up with her older cousins. The nephew has been suffering from allergies, and changed IPL allegiances (my husband insists he support CSK, no matter what!). Strangely enough, the little one has started speaking in Tamil in addition to the extreme fluency in English, despite being surrounded by a motley crew of kannada/hindi speaking kids.

And us adults? Well, we have not had such a great time as a family together in a while. And hope that we can make a habit of this every May when the kids all have time off from school. (next year, I should attempt to wind up my duties for the semester earlier, cause its just not any fun to have to go to Delhi and to the office leaving behind all the fun!).

"Who had the bright idea of spending summer in Chennai?" my husband asked accusingly. Well, that was mine, all mine. I argued that although it would be hot, we would have all the food and sleeping arrangements set-up clearly at home so it would work out okay. And boy, was I right!

Monday, 2 May 2011


i am exasperated by not finishing up my posts. when i go back to them even a day later, the tone sounds all wrong and i need to start afresh. then the voice in the back of my mind starts telling me, if it feels like that, it has no place being published. so i let it do the other -ish, instead - languish - in the void. this one is unlikely to be any better, unlikely to suffer a better fate. but as always, i am optimistic about things when i start. so here goes.

swimming has been the big discovery this summer. i am inspired to attempt this by several young people surrounding me. one is the monster, who bears with a sudden onset of sunburn (she didn't used to burn last year, but does, in a jiffy, this year. despite sunblock), and crazy parents, and still enjoys it immensely. two is MSB, who would have run a relay yesterday in anticipation of the ironman, to come in future years.

i am not looking at a triathlon, ever. my 15-day birthday challenge also seems to have indicated that i am not looking at a full marathon, ever. i did ok on the challenge. i completed the swimming and biking miles (which were ridiculously small). i did the abs/core very very diligently. but the running miles (which are of course my usual favourite), i slashed down drastically mid-way thanks to some whiny pain in my knees/shins/ankles. but as i looked back on it, i came to the conclusion that upping the swimming & biking wouldn't be amiss. especially the swimming, since biking still has impact on my knees, which then tend to sing, and get all stiff for the next morning's run.

its a family event now. the three of us. two bags (girls-1, boy-1). we drove around and procured extra swimsuits now to commemorate gaining of some momentum on that front. i resisted the temptation to buy. i feel like my last speedo bought in january was too expensive. maybe not. it has been serving me well, i admit, although i think i have to switch back to the shorts style of suit as i absolutely loathe how the skirt lifts up.

where am i with my swimming? well, to those that don't know. i started to learn in my final year at college. the coach insisted that the breast stroke would be appropriate. i did that for 10 days diligently. i travelled super super slow with it. it was immensely irritating. i did not like the stroke at all, with its frog-like kick. i gave up when i went to the us, intimidated by all the locker room, and not knowing what to do before and after. when i was in mumbai, i was friends with these guys - twins - who were swimming coaches. they convinced me to give it a shot. i went. thankfully, it was freestyle and not the awful breast stroke. i did get dodderingly to some level of comfort. but i discontinued it again - it was too cold suddenly, i got pregnant (unrelated events). last year here in hot hotter chennai, monster & i signed up for classes. i attended about 70% of my lessons, due to various.

but since i am at that age when i feel reasonably confident about stuff, i decided to stick with it and give it a shot, by myself. the coach had given enough tips in the classes, and promised to help me out if i wanted (i feel too shy to ask though, as the financial arrangements are not clear). we saw some youtube videos. i made a mental list of all the things the coach told me to keep in mind. and now i manage to push myself a bit every time. mostly, i guess i am working on comfort levels and not being shit scared of the water (i really am, shit scared, of water up my nose and ears and drowning and looking like an ass and drinking chlorine and having to be rescued by hairy men in red shorts, and so on).

what do i like best? backstroke. which i am teaching myself. what do i need to do now? overcome the palpitations, develop some stamina, and swim laps.

over and out.