Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Abhay goes to a new school

Abhay started his new school mid last week and I must admit that I do feel guilty that this is his fourth school in his three years of schooling! More than Abhay, it was I who was nervous about putting him into a system fairly different from that he was used to in the US. The preschool system in India is far more rigorous than the early education in the US. For people moving back to India from abroad, getting kids on par with their Indian counterparts is definitely a matter of concern. As it is, finalizing your child’s school admissions in Bangalore seems tougher than settling on a house to live in! Seriously, I think our parents had it real easy and I envy them for it!  We have too many choices making it even more confusing -  with International schools, National schools, Techno schools, Academy schools, Innovation schools  - how do we decide what is ideal for our child?  One thing is certain, whatever the name and philosophy of the school may be, they all have one thing in common – more or less the same fee structure!:-)  

Anyway, today I read  David goes to School” by David Shannon, though a book more meant for toddlers and early preschoolers, it seemed just right for Abhay as he joined UKG in ‘The Samhita Academy  from last Wednesday wearing a red and blue uniform. This book is a part of a series on a naughty boy named David by the same author. David has a mind of his own and as always he is known for doing everything he is not supposed to, whether at home or at school. The hilarious illustrations by the author make it quite clear what David is up to and the story is narrated from the teachers’ point view – with the teacher chiding him as David disrupts the class with his mischief, or asks to go use the toilet for the umpteenth time, or  chews gum and looks out of the window when class is on or cuts the line at snack time – David  is one little brat you’d thank your stars you don’t have!  But I guess every child has a little of David in him or her and I recommend reading this book to celebrate the same!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Kid in Town!

Hello Again! It has been about two weeks since we landed in India and here I am all set to resume blogging from ‘Namma Bengaluru’!!!  Except the last three years, Bangalore has been home to me from the time I was born. But in these three years, my hometown has grown so much that I hardly recognize my old streets or its neighborhoods now. While some things are still the same, some have changed for good and some not so good! As most Bangaloreans would agree, the city traffic is not one of its best selling points and in this aspect I’d be lying if I say that I don't miss Portland! But when I walk the streets of Jayanagar, pass the old Ganesha temple, the adjacent shopping complex and stop by the good old Dosa camp, I know I have finally come home! :-) 

Abhay seems more than happy to be back in the city where he was born! Busy in the company of his grandparents, he's hardly had any time to miss his old home! Bangalore’s streets seem far more fascinating than those in Portland – with buses, cars, autos, all kinds of two wheelers sharing the road with cows, street dogs and fruit/vegetable vendors – how can he possibly miss Portland? !!:-)  But if not the streets of Tanasbourne, he does miss his old school on SW Walker Street and his schoolmates studying therein! To help him move on to his new life and new school, today I read “New Kid in Town” a Little Critter Story by Mercer Mayer. Little Critter and his friend Gabby are playing catch when they find a moving van drive into their neighborhood. Curious to find out who their new neighbor is, they walk across the street to meet a shy little boy named Max sitting on the curbside of his new house looking sad and lost. When asked what is wrong, Max says he misses his old friends from his old neighborhood. Little Critter and Gabby then take him to the park to meet their friend Tiger who’s seen flying a kite. Soon Max makes friends with Tiger and all four of them take turns to fly the kite. From the park, they move to the swimming pool where they are joined by another friend Gator and all five go swimming. Next they go to an ice cream parlour where they meet Maurice and Molly and all seven of them have ice cream and so goes on the story with Little Critter helping new kid in town make new friends!!! Abhay liked the story and felt reassured about meeting new friends in our old neighborhood and mind you, it is not only Abhay who feels like a new kid in town! :-)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Oh no...Its time to go!!

I cannot believe we have finally come to our last day  in Portland and it’s time to say to goodbye! It is not until we packed our bags and cleared our apartment that it actually hit is finally here!!! Time to say goodbye to our life in the US and hello again to our Indian set up. Goodbye to beautiful apartment nestled under the trees that change color every fall and hello our house located in an area stripped of most of its  greenery; Goodbye to the roads where everyone follows lane discipline and hello the roads where no one follows any discipline; Goodbye to our beloved Hillsboro library and hopefully hello to the yet-to- be- explored libraries in Bangalore; Goodbye to all our friends here in the US and hello again to our old friends and family in Bangalore. Goodbye to eight months of cold wet rain a year and hello again to almost 365 days of sunshine. Goodbye to being a stay at home mom and hello to resuming work again….something to look forward to…right? Saying goodbye doesn’t always have to be a terrible thing to do! 

Anyway, as we leave Portland tomorrow morning, as a last book in the US, I read “Oh no! Its time to go! A book of Goodbyes” by Rebecca Doughty. A little boy recants different instances of having to say goodbye – saying goodbye to a friend at the park, saying goodbye to granny at the end of her visit,  saying goodbye in sign language, his cool cousin tipping his hat to mean so long, his baby brother yelling bye-bye  as he’s off to school; But the worst goodbye he recalls is when the movers came and he watched as his best friend move out of their neighborhood. Much as he wanted to skip the formality of saying goodbye, he decided be strong about it. As he bade farewell to his friend, he soon realized that for each good bye there is a new hello! So to all my friends and well wishers… long ……for now .....until we meet again!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Friends Forever!

With exactly a week left to go before we leave Portland, it’s time to bid farewell to our friends here. For most people living abroad, friends are your extended family and over the years they actually come to mean more than your family back home. Though we’ve lived in Portland only for a short time, our friends here are our friends for life and we will always cherish the good times we’ve had together! Over the last two weekends we said our final goodbyes to many of our friends and Abhay also got to rub shoulders with the next generation one last time before he meets new friends in India. To Little Maahi, Eera, Satchit, Saahil, Sreemayi, Ritu, Dhruv , Keshav, Suhas and Gauri – Abhay will certainly miss you and to all my Portland Sahelis and our IBM and non IBM friends - will definitely miss you guys!

Over the weekend and today, I had an eleven month old and a fourteen month old respectively as a special guest presiding over my story time with Abhay! I must say that both the times, Abhay was not the most attentive of the listeners!!! In fact, today the fourteen month old Satchit kept pointing towards the illustrations of various trucks in “I love trucks” by Philemon Sturges as if instructing my restless four year old to pay attention instead!  Thanks Satchit for setting a good example! :-)

Anyway, with Little Eera and Abhay, I read “The more we are together” by Tanya Roitman. A perfect board book for babies and toddlers, the book features the  popular song “ The more we are together, the happier we’ll be. With my friends are your friends and your friends are my friends….the more we are together….”! Sure to interest toddlers with colorful illustrations of toddlers doing fun things like singing, playing and jumping around. Abhay who knew how to sing this song, sang it for Eera but didn’t agree with “your friends are my friends “ part as he felt that Eera’s friends could not possibly be his friends as he is a big boy!!!Okay.....grandpa!:-)