Monthly Archives: November 2008

oh mumbai


i hated the 121 days I lived in mumbai. i thought it was 121 days too many.

i hated the crowds. i hated the matchbox grey flats. i hated the rush.

i hated the indica car that ran over a few-days-old puppy in goregaon.  my little son would scream and scream if we had to take an Indica taxi, for months later. 

 my then-2-year-old saw before him life, and in a fast swerve, death.

oh mumbai, how could you?

and now i watch television, i see you, mumbai. I message my journalist friend, whose legs are aching from standing in front of the taj for hours and hours. i call my husband who is wondering when he can finally catch the plane to be home and play with his sons.

and i worry my global worry, just what will happen to the tender, timid, gentle small people like my elder one — they’ll be caught like butterflies-in-the-charging-wheel. oh mumbai.

youtube mamma


I dont encourage firstborn to watch TV. But youtube is different, I friend bhu, once told me that children can really pick up several languages from 0 to 6.

So I had my idea-of-the-month..

it’s playing nursery rhymes of every language on youtube … i am happy that my child will familiarise himself with several indian languages… telugu, tamil, kannada and hindi; and i think it’s enjoyable. The tunes and the music are very localised, they have a unique flavour.

now finally, the wheels on the bus tune in my head has been replaced with “chal chal gurrrrrrrrrram”…

here are the links to startyou off…

telugu rhyme

kannada rhyme

chinese rhyme

for hindi

i chose lakdi ki kathi and for carnatic music i’ve chosen bho shambo (by maharajapuram santhanam…)


it’s working. his malaysian classmate, also three years old, comes to our home demanding “bho jumbo”!

MIL- DIL talk


It was my mil’s dream to travel abroad, travel in a plane and see the glorious sights that ambujam mami (nanganallur koil fame) described  after going to “foreign”.

MIL loves it here in Malaysia — no power cuts, no water disruption and railway stations that look like “deva lokam” (the land of the devas).

She will leave in a couple of weeks, and she wants to be doubly sure that she has visited “foreign”

“Er. daughter-in-law”
Me: yes

MIL: Is Malaysia “foreign? ”
Me: er yes, amma.

MIL: But it’s only three hours away from India… how about Dubai then? Is that foreign?

Me: Er yes.
MIL: I thought only America was “foreign”, are you sure?

Me: Yes, amma.

She’s happy.

P.S. I don’t think I’ll tell her that India is a “foreign country” from a Malaysian perspective. Even if I do, she won’t believe me.