Independent, Who?

"Driti, today's our Independence Day" Ady cried excitedly. Something about living far away from homeland, makes you want to connect with everything even remotely associated with it. Why, while in India, we did not celebrate half the low profile festivals. Except for Diwali and Holi, nothing else held our interest.

But after coming here, we celebrated "padinettamberu". I have no idea what it means. But apparently, we need to cook different colored rice and celebrate the colors of life. So I did. I made yellow, brown and white rice and offered it to God. Never would I have dreamt of doing something for this festival I knew nothing about, in India. But as I said, distance does that to you. 

We were excited about Independence Day back in India too - and D did witness and participate in her first I-Day celebrations when she was 2. But moving here, we had to create all the fuss for her.

So anyway, when Ady announced to D, she was excited too. It's actually very easy to spread excitement at her height. "We'll have fireworks" she jumped. Yeah, she thought it was the 4th of July on a repeat run. Especially since she had slept through the fireworks on that day. 

So it was a teaching moment, and Ady set about talking about Gandhi and our struggle for freedom. Firstly, she did not want to accept that we had fought against the British. They have a real life princess. So how could we?

Second, she was more interested in why Gandhi did not wear clothes and how he died. Something about Death - it really fascinates her. 

So trying to get her attention to 'Independence' took a while. But at the end of it, she did understand how India got Independence. I think Ady made her watch 'Gandhi' after all.

And she was really happy, that she was 'free'. 

While I was glad that she finally understood why our Independence Day means so much to us, I hadn't signed up for what came up next. 

Early today morning, she barged into our room and started jumping on our bed. It was 5;30 AM "Driti, go back to your room. It's still night time" I murmured, still half asleep.

She had the iPod in her hand by now, and was playing some song loudly. "Driti, go to your room, or sit on that chair and use head phones" I tried, using the pillows to shield my ears. 

"You can't tell me what to do. I am 'dindeependent'" she declared. So much for 'Independence Day'

And So She Unlearns

It is with great regret that I share that my daughter is unlearning Hindi. 

She listens to what we say, but turns out, she comprehends it differently. And it's just been a year in Seattle. 

Today, she came up to me and said, "Mamma, you know, the little finger is called 'Katti' and the thumb is called 'dost'" 

I know I shouldn't have, but I was so amused with the whole thing, I asked her to show it to me. She did just that, and with the same tone, that we're used to as kids - If we're unhappy with a friend, we say 'katti' showing the little finger, and if we want to make friends, we say 'dost?'.

My mother used to play this game with her, and she recollected this incident yesterday - out of the blue. 

So yes, I clarified this to her. But....her unlearning it doesn't end there. And it doesn't end with just Hindi. 

I've taken the following incident to heart. I just can't get over it. I.. I.. 

Anyway, I'll try and keep my emotions under check while sharing the story here.

How long can you keep a South-Indian from South-Indian food? Turns out, you can keep this South-Indian away for a maximum of 1 week, before withdrawal symptoms kick in. 

So, the 2 week trip to Spain did have adverse effects on my mental make. Driti also wanted to have idlis. Her palate is completely South Indian. Good for me. So the remaining Indian had to take us for a binge. 

I ordered dosa, Driti - idli and Ady - biryani.

I don't mean to cause that drool by sharing our food choices; so please wipe that off. 

Anyway, we're eating silently (really silently, so you know all the craving did have an effect on us), and suddenly Driti declares, "Mamma, I am not going to eat the hummus, it's very spicy". "What hummus?" we're eating South Indian and we're thoroughly confused. 

"This one", she says pointing to the chutney. Could anyone get me a thimble filled with dripping water? I could easily jump into it.

My genes, my favorite food, and my only daughter. There's been a cross connection somewhere!