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Monday, July 30, 2012

London 2012 - Diving

We are watching the men's syncronized diving 10m platform. And the kids are diving all around the living room :)
And by the way, the commentators seem to have said that one of the Americans is also a math student at Duke. Is it true? How cool is that!

Rohan in a bucket

Guarda un po' che cosa ho trovato tra le vecchie foto: Rohan nel secchio! Ottobre 2011, Chennai.

I just found these, from October 2011. For those who haven't been in an Indian home, that is the typical setup of an Indian bathroom: an open shower area, with a faucet below the shower and a bucket to collect the water. The baby in the bucket is optional.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mahabalipuram for the hopelessly shallow

We are fortunate enough to live half an hour away from a UNESCO world heritage site. In Mahabalipuram you can see early examples of Dravidian architecture and a variety of sculptures from the 7th/9th century. Some of the sites are right by the sea, offering spectacular views. You will also see the work of today's sculptors, in roadside workshops and in every little shop for tourists. You can walk around and maybe have lunch in a not so great looking place consisting of only one dusty room but where they will cook for you whatever fish was caught early that morning - and you get to have fun bargaining for the price and feel like a local.

If, however, you are a local and bargaining has lost a lot of its charm for you; if you have been to the sites many many times already; if you have three kids and are too tired to remember how to spell "Dravidian"; then here is what you can do instead.

Drive to Mahabalipuram, ignore all the signs directing you to the culturally relevant sites and as soon as you pass the collection point where some people - who may or may not have a right to do so - charge a fee to enter the town, make a left turn a drive into the premises of the most ostentatious resort of the area. Check in and don't leave until it's time to go back home.

(Note: these photos were taken three weeks ago, when my mom was still visiting us. This weekend at the resort was our way to thank her for agreeing to spend all the rest of her visit in a flat in the middle of nowhere with loud children and unreliable electricity supply.)

All here now

Ho finito di trasferire qui tutte le pagine dei due blog precedenti. Sono accessibili dall'archivio, nella barra laterale a destra, o dalla nuvola di argomenti in fondo alla pagina.

I moved here all the posts from the Piccolo Rajiv blog as well, so now the whole story from 2007 is in one place. Unless you are me, you probably don't feel the need to go and look at older posts very often, but in case you do they are all accessible from the archive in the sidebar, or from the cloud of labels at the bottom of the page.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


This is not a very original shot, but I can live with that.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Viola's birth

I haven't written about Lila's birth yet and given that this blog is supposed to be first of all a way to keep memories for us, that doesn't feel right. There are many things I am not happy about and I might even talk about that at some point, but that shouldn't come in the way of the things that I am *very* happy about.

These first photos were taken about a week earlier, at achamma's house and on our way out to dinner. I thought that this was going to be our last chance to get a snap of Picu still inside, but she was not a eager to leave her bubble as we imagined.

In the end Picu was not given much choice and made her appearance at night on May 21 2012, after a day filled with small disappointments, via a cesarean section. It is a quite weird experience and I didn't really get to see my baby until a bit later. They did however tell me right away that it was a girl and I remember feeling quite shocked, because that is the last thing I expected at this point. It took more than a week for us to stop saying "he" - which annoyed the grandma to no end.

S saw his baby girl before me. I don't remember much at all until dad and baby came to to me in the post op area some time later. Weird experience, really.

And here we are:

And a few more flattering shots taken later by dad in the room alone with her.

I have a complaint, though. We have a little family tradition of dressing our babies in the same little red pajama after birth, but there isn't a single photo of Lila in her red birth day dress. I suppose we must take pride in being disorganized down to the smallest details..

The children came the next morning to meet their sister and they have been in love with er ever since. Here, however, they can be seen opening their Picu Day presents, at last. They were really beginning to fear the day would never come :)

We stayed at the hospital longer than I would have liked but the room was very comfortable - choosing a posh hospital was good, at least for morale - and the kids could visit often.

In the end we had only one good birth experience out of three, but obviously we had three out of three good baby experiences.

From the first day back at the grandparents' house:

I think they were all saying "foof".

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Es geht

So how is it going? Does she sleep? Indeed she does, a lot. She sleeps quite well at night - not as well as I could, just to clarify, but well enough for being only two months. She sleeps a lot during the day too, if I hold her, not so much if I don't.

Mostly I sit in front of my laptop with Lila on my shoulder or in my arms, sometimes feeding her and sometimes just holding her, and I entertain myself by playing Sudoku and Minesweeper, or I type stuff with one hand, like I'm doing now, or I edit my photos - with one hand, or shop online.. you get the idea.

If I am feeling especially alert I also think about beginning to prepare for the quantum mechanics course I have to start teaching in August, but I haven't progressed to actually doing it, yet.

I am looking forward to resuming the German class with S at Rajiv's school though, and hence the title.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Our sweet and wild little Rohan, in a nutshell :)

Big ears

We watched "Dumbo" today. The pink elephants are creepier than I remembered, but the kids didn't mind.

Appu of course, as the proud carrier of the most spectacular ears in this family (although not without competition), identifies with Dumbo. I was a bit worried that the movie might plant in his mind ideas about appearance that - I think - he hasn't really considered yet, but I think no damage was done.

It might help that I tell my kids that they are beautiful about ten times a day. In fact, when we play "I Spy", if I say "I spy something cute.." they both start screaming "Me! Meeee!". Too much self-esteem? I think not!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Un po' di foto di Viola tutta ingioellata, un mese fa in occasione del suo ventottesimo giorno di vita.


When Lila turned four weeks, achamma asked us to take some pictures of her wearing the jewellery she has been gifted (already!). She normally prefers a simpler look, but for the occasion she agreed to pose in a little white dress, necklace and bangles - who knew they make them in this size?

This was almost a month ago, but anyway here it is:

Classy, I'd say.

Here is Lila with her papa', showing the beginning of a desire to relax in her usual lounging attire.

But first a quick call to the grandparents - with mamma always hovering with the camera to add to the stress.

It's just too much...