Tag Archives: Navi Mumbai

Bloggers & Friends Meet

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Bloggers & Friends Meet

Remember last year when I said that Pallavi and I had a chance to meet up after a year and a half? That was the sad state of our meet ups. However, this year things have been different in the very best way. Pallavi and I have had the chance to catch up multiple times. Most recently, we have caught up 3 times in 3 months and thats a HUGE improvement from our previous state.

First meet with the kiddos

First meet with the kiddos

Being a stay at home mom, I have had the opportunity to come to my parents place in Navi Mumbai quite frequently, and Pallavi, for the weekdays, stays may be 20 mins away. We alternated between meeting up either at her place or mine and I cannot describe how wonderful it felt to be able to do that. Whatsapp allows us to be updated on each others’ lives but nothing can replace a face to face meeting.

Our meets took me back to our childhood in Thailand where we spent countless afternoons, evenings and nights at each others’ places gossiping, reading, napping, eating, watching movies, etc. Parents wouldn’t worry about our whereabouts because they knew we had the company of each other. Our talks would be on the most random topics that would make just perfect sense to us. It was similar this time we talked about anything and everything. It’s surreal that we still talk the same way even with our kids around. I think when it comes to childhood friends, you immediately let go of all your inhibitions and become the same kiddo again.

Proof of poor Selfie skills

Proof of poor Selfie skills

I hope to make my visits to Navi Mumbai more frequently and that those trips involve a meet up with Pallavi. Once a chaddi buddy (childhood buddy) always a chaddi buddy. 🙂

P.S. Please excuse our pictures, we, suddenly, have become the worst picture takers.

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Monday Mornings

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I came across a blog a couple of weeks back where Ilana had described her Monday mornings and Wednesday evenings. There was a contest where she picked a few moms and added their stories as well. We did not participate in that, we decided to get inspired and do our own version. The original post is on Mommyshorts-it’s a fun blog.

This week I’ll put up my versions, and next week or whenever new mommy Swara has time she will blog hers. Just being in two different countries, brings a huge variation into the routine, along with what is the norm or not in a certain culture. I just found reading all the stories and comparing them to mine quite interesting. In India for example, we have maids who will come in daily to do the cleaning and the dishes, clothes and cooking as well if you want.

I did not hire a photographer for the post, and all the photos have been taken by me, so you won’t see any with me in them. In hindsight it would have been good to have gotten my husband at least to click the photos so I could really see my interaction with Vivaan.

Good Morning Mumbai!

Good Morning Mumbai!

Ever since my little boy, Vivaan started Pre-school, I wake up at 6:30 so that I have enough time to get the cooking done before the maid arrives, and hopefully have time to take a shower before Vivaan is up. My maid doesn’t get in until 8:00 so there is enough time to prepare both breakfast (where is can be cooked in advance) and lunch.

What I usually do is put on the cooker for the lentils, and on the side do the dough and make the rotis first, because I find that the most time consuming. By 7:00, the milk arrives and is put to boil and cool off ready for when Vivaan wakes up. And the dry vegetable is put to cook on the side.

Since Monday is wheat day at school, I decided to cook Vermicelli for breakfast as well as for Vivaan’s school snack.

Most days I have about five minutes before he wakes up to run into the shower, but this Monday he was up right when I was getting into the bathroom. So, instead it was cuddle time, and trying to cajole him out of bed and get him prepared that he would be going to school. Before he gets to school, we are still dealing with a lot of him not wanting to go and some days there are tears involved.

Milk and breakfast this Monday. It was a good day.

Milk and breakfast this Monday. It was a good day.

My husband is up around the same time, and while the maid cleans, both of us are trying to get Vivaan to drink his milk, and helping him eat at least a little bit of breakfast. I give him a shower, brush his teeth while my husband gets him to wear his clothes-for the past few days he has been insisting on only wearing either his night suit or something with a bunny rabbit on it to school. Getting him to wear his clothes probably takes us the longest. While my sis in law entertained him, I managed to take a quick shower, and drop him off to school.

My husband trying to calm Vivaan down about going to school

My husband trying to calm Vivaan down about going to school

After the drop off I usually iron off the clothes that do not get sent to the dhobi, we have breakfast, I hand wash Vivaan’s clothes, put the rest in the washing machine, and by then it is time to pick him up. My husband and I pick him up from school, and then he leaves for work

Back from pre-school, and he wanted to apply color on me.

Back from pre-school, and he wanted to apply color on me.

Make sure to read my Wednesday Evenings post later in the week.

Baby Goes to Play School

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All set for his first day of Play School

My baby started Play School last week, and combined with the Mumbai monsoon it has been a little bit crazy. A lot of people (my parents included) were surprised we had decided to enroll him at 2 years, but there are people who are sending their children as young as 18 months. For us, it was not a race to have him in Play School, but to get him to be a little bit more independent, to interact with children his own age, and ultimately prepare him for when he begins Nursery next year.

The curriculum is very much activity based, and includes a lot of songs and rhymes to make it fun for the little ones. My son was already listening to a lot of poems over the summer, and he found it exciting to have some of the same being repeated at his Play School.

He spends 2.5 hours at school, and I try to keep myself occupied-get some ironing done or straighten out the closets-so that I am not constantly thinking about if he is playing, eating his lunch etc.

As with a lot of schools in India now, there is a stress on home cooked snacks/lunch that is to be packed, and to make it easier for moms there is a suggested menu for each day of the week. Mondays is wheat (rotis, parathas, daliya/porridge/ semolina), Tuesdays is rice (fried rice, khichdi, idli), Wednesdays is fruit (this is a bit difficult since most seasonal fruits that he likes to eat turn brown when cut), Thursdays is sprouts, and Friday is any meal of the kids choice.

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Interacting with fellow classmates

He enjoyed the first two days when I was allowed in with him, but after that it has been a lot of crying during drop off. But, it was expected, and we were prepared for it and we are hoping in another week or so the drop offs get pleasant for both of us.

We have never left him alone for this long a span, so it is an adjustment for both of us, a lot more for my baby since he still does not quite grasp the understanding of school and its norms. But, we shall get there one day at a time.

Today, was the first day he ate his entire lunch, and it made me so happy. It is a step-albeit tiny- in the right direction. Before I know it, he will be off to college, so I am going to enjoy his school going days for now.

Namesake: Cafe Coffee Day

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So we finally met up and that too at Cafe Coffee Day or CCD as it is popularly know. Yes, we did pick the place so it could coincide with the blog. Plus, it does serve some delicious coffee and masala chai.

Meet in Thailand or in India, we are pretty much the same. It always involves eating, talking/gossiping and shopping. And a mini photo-session. It definitely was a fun day.

Just wish the shopping was a little better. We hardly ended up picking anything, which is always disappointing.

Reunion at Cafe Coffee Day

Here are few additional snapshots from that day.

Pallavi

Cafe Latte

Swara

We do love silly faces and our silly selves

How was your week?

Landed: First Thoughts in India

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So I am finally in India!! Yay! My Air India flight definitely provided for some entertainment-I ended up seeing a Bollywood movie star, Shakti Kapoor, on my flight. I am in the LA of India, and can now share stories of all celebrities that I might run into:)On the side note, immigration in India was one of the fastest processes I have seen. This was a welcome change from the US where I have missed almost 85% of my flights due to lines at immigration.

Shakti Kapoor

Now to the more important questions: how does it feel to be in India? Did I make a mistake? Can I really live here? Will I blend in? So far, it’s been good. I am sure I can live here, there will be a lot of learning and unlearning in certain aspects. It doesn’t feel weird to be in India or a major shock per say. Doubts about fitting in or being stranger aren’t there either thanks to my friends and family. If anything, I find life at home a bit slow. This is primarily to do with the fact that I don’t have a full time job yet. Everyone around me is busy and running around-a case in any major city.

My first week has consisted of a variety of experiences. From spending hours at the tailor to fit clothes for the wedding to attending a company’s annual party to having instances of no water or electricity at home. I love, love, love the fact that a tailor is so much easier to find in India (you might have to make several trips to them to get the correct fit). Now I no longer have the excuse of not being able to wear or purchase clothes because the fit isn’t perfect.

View of Navi Mumbai from house balcony

The thought of being without water or electricity does sound alarming to most people. It happens and my mom has warned me that in India these things can happen frequently- sitting at home and crying about it won’t solve the issue. Yes, it can be frustrating at times, but if you have an open mind to it and are also mentally prepared, I think you will find yourself more accepting of these nuances. At least right now I think I am managing well.

I am a foodie, I spend endless time thinking about what food to eat or cook. This first week has been no different.  I have had a good mix of street food and delicious home cooked meals. From pao bhaji and momos on the street to heavy stuffed aloo ke parathas (bread stuffed with potato filling).

Pao Bhaji

I have also quickly realized I need to keep myself occupied to adjust in India. This blog is fills that void and it also serves as a method through which I can express the multiple emotions I go through while living life here.

What were some of your first experiences of living in a new country?