Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Amma Mane

What is it about the cliche'd Mother's house for every married woman? In all the 6years of marriage I hardly stayed over at Mom's house despite being in the same city - or because it was in the same city? Apart from the customary First Diwali I only used to go there to visit for a couple hours and then it used to be back home (to the in-laws) The first time after 4+ yrs of marriage I went to stay there a week before my delivery date even then because the hospital was closer. Then again the 3 months post delivery. And I never missed it much either. I knew I could always go when ever I had the urge to, could pick up the phone and talk to my parents whenever I wanted to...

Now that we've moved to our own home over the last 1 year its got increasingly difficult to even visit over the weekends. Sometimes they come over or we drop in on the way to somewhere else - very rarely, like most friends I know, do we go and stay overnight...

But, last night was different. Carpenters at home and the house smells strongly of paint/ kerosene/ laminate gum and a lot of fine wood dust. And within minutes of entering home in the evening my throat began to itch. And hubby was worried about Chutku too... So, on the spur of the moment, called Mom, told her (never ask - thats another thing) we will be spending the night there, packed stuff for today and left in 1/2 hour...

And the moment we entered home I  felt light - yes light! like I didnt have to worry about anything now. I was safe. With all good intentions I told mom that I will heat the milk for the night feed/feed him dinner/ wash the dabbas for today - do everything so she doesnt have to really do much and then just sat down on the cane jhula talking to Dad until 9pm. By then chutku's dinner was ready and fed/our dinner was set on the table/his bottle boiled and milk heated/ bed ready to sleep in.... And I was still procastinating. Come morning the Dabbas were washed and food ready to be packed. Only that she did not know what goes into what box - so she had left it as is...

Now what is it that the sight of Mom and the house makes me put my feet up like before. At home I know I would be running around getting things done and I could've very well done the same there too, but I didnt... I became that girl again who could put her feet up and laze around,watch TV and expect dinner to be served, who could just let things lie around everywhere and expect to find them at their right place the next day - Is this what the other women talk about - Amma Mane?

And Im looking forward to the same laziness tonight too :-D

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mommy Guilt

The Bride tagged me to write about Mommy guilt:

1.Write about 2 instances where you have put yourself before your child/ children… been a wee bit selfish.


2.How did you feel? Did you feel a pang of guilt or were you comfortable?

3.Tag 2 more moms

The maximum I've ever felt guilty was initially when he was born and had really bad bouts of colic for 3 full months and most everyone I knew told me it was because I didnt eat/rest/take care properly during pregnancy - those were the worst mommy guilt moments for me - seeing him howl in pain and not knowing how to help/or when no medicine,warm water bath worked... Now that, that phase is over there isnt much I worry about except maybe:

1. My Work - The first 6 months after Chutku that I stayed at home drove me crazy. Crazy because I had no adult company and was all the time feeding/cleaning/putting him to sleep routine. And I decided no matter what Im going back to work. So leaving him in the day-care was no option.
On a regular day I dont feel guilty leaving him at the day care. I've mentioned here before that he's being taken good care of and he is comfortable too. So there are times when hubby and I go out for lunch - we even took the day off on our anniversary, left him at the day care and watched 2 movies - ensuring we had some time together without upsetting anyone's routines either. And there was no guilt.
But, on days he is unwell, has a bad nappy rash or just has a clingy day (especially monday mornings) - those are moments when I feel guilty. Sometimes I peep from the door without going inside lest he should cry on seeing me and I see him playing all by himself, roaming behind his care taker when no one's talking to him - those moments are when I feel the pinch.

2. With hubby's hectic work schedules I come home alone with him - the responsiblity of feeding him dinner and completing the night routine, putting him to sleep fall completely on me. And there are days when Im not feeling too well and I just want to sleep or watch some good TV, something on my mind that I want to blog, read  and he choses those days to not sleep early! He's cranky with sleep but refuses to stop playing and wants to be all over me. Invariably I end up screaming at him and put him on my lap to pat him to sleep and I admit I can be a little rough too at times because it takes all my energy to put the squirmy bundle on my lap! And that is when I feel guilty - guilty of being unable to control my emotion/stress/temper for a few more mins when all he wants is to stick to me because he hasnt got enough of me for the day...

I understand too that these are all temporary and unavoidable at times.Im still learning to control my temper and have been quite successful too... so at the end of the day its not too much guilt that I carry to bed with me!

OK, now who do I tag:

LF - to know what she feels about Chucky and Seemahttp://seemabbas.blogspot.com/ - what with twins!

Come on ladies - do the tag and let us know...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jumbalika Tales

Heard that song from Takshak - Jumbalika Jumbalika... well that's the latest music running on my mobile right now. Why? Because Chutku wants it - thats why... One evening on the way back home in the bus he got very cranky and to distract him I began to shake his hands and sing this song because these were the words that first struck as some junk words... And then I made him listen to the song on Hubby's mobile (dont ask me how he had this song!). We got stuck... Now as the little mind fancies we need to play this song- he moves his hands rapidly and says 'Jummmaaaaaaaa' and I HAVE to play it no matter where we are...

He's getting a huge grasp on picking up words now. We've been teaching him all our names and he very cutely slaughters it! Ask him what is Amma's name: Thampi :-O Whaaa? Only the besotted grandparents are able to find some similarity here! Ask: What does Amma call you: Chuttttuuuuu, What does Appa call you: Gunnnnnnnnnaaaa (Guess what this is?) His Appa's name is atleast pronounced a little better and the best of all is the way he calls his Ammamma...

And he know how to express what he wants - emphatically. The other evening after I fed him dinner I was running around getting all jobs completed while he was so sleepy he was just sitting down on themattress spread on the floor half watching the rhymes cartoon I had put. Generally I just sit down with him,play with him until he goes to sleep and then get all the work done so he kept calling me Amma Baa, Amma Baa (come). I kept saying I will come.For about a couple of mins he waited and then he called me "Thampiiiiiii", I went to him and said "Aye, why are you calling me Thampi".He gives me this sheepish smile and says "Thampiiii,Tham,thith" (Come,sit) and patted the mattress next to him. Just to see what he would do I went and sat where he pointed. And the next second he says "Thanthooo" and sleeps on my lap. I was so overwhelmed and happy that he is learning the right words and he wanted me to be there while he slept :-D

Numbers,rhymes and alphabets is so much fun!

Chubby cheeks, dimple chin...Amma's pet....yech, yech,yech.... :-D - see its so easy to get to the last...
Oot koch bunch,Ooh koch bunch, thethlathaehelaheneheoalala, Oot koch bunch - end of story!

thon,thoo,thee,thou,thai,thich,thenen,..,nine, bigthathen....

At the end of it depending on my mood Im either ROTFL or tearing my hair out of frustration trying to correct him :-P

He lines up all his chotu cars and calls me to show - Amma,thoo,theee caaaa......ddrrrrrrroooooommmmmmmm....


Leaving you with the before and after pics of the haircut...


My own Shankarachari

Right after hair cut

See the 2 juttus? - Before the hair cut

Ready to go biking already!


Busy reading Appa's Perry Mason


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Happy going to school?

I wrote about the current confusion of choosing a school for Chutku and I got some wonderful responses. Very very informative and useful. Thanks to both Sangi and RM for making some of my  resolves stronger and also making me think some more - Sangi's comment on peer pressure on the parents (I didn't give that a thought at all!) and talking to the teachers if possible before putting the child in the school. RM's comment on not comparing the children...Do read these 2 posts...

Both of them mentioned something either in their posts or as comments - As long as the child is happy going to school I might not have to worry...

Let me first give my own example - I studied until 1st std in a local school hardly 5mins walk from home. Granny used to pick me up from school everyday and I also knew the way back home. Then one day Dad realised that the complete syllabus was not being covered and most of the activities in the text books were left undone. That made him feel that in the long run its going to affect all my exams - especially when I have to give any board exams. His thinking of if they cannot cover lessons in class 1 how will they do it in class 7/10? So he decided to change my school - a well known convent about 8-9kms away from home,more expensive, had bus facility,good play grounds, good teachers (he had colleagues children going there).I had my entrance exam, did pretty well and was given admission to class 2.
I HATED the school. To begin with I had no friends. All friend 'groups' had already been formed and I was an outcast. For an extrovert like me - I had no one to talk to. To begin with I had to walk to the bust stop about 10mins from home(Dad/Mom used to drop me), get into the school bus with all seniors - and I didn't know the way back home from school and that used to freak me out - what if I miss the school bus someday? I used to run blindly to my bus as soon as the last bell rang and only then the knot in my stomach would release. No one to talk to in school, no one to eat the food with, walk back home in the afternoon with a friend and her elder sister (real sweet and caring). And today Im surprised when I look back and realise that those groups were made based on the monetary level of the parents - do you come to school by car? What car does your father drive? Oh! You father doesn't own a car etc etc; And I never fit in. Though I did really well academically, I used to come home crying most days. I believe Mom noticed that I had become quieter, used to cry for no reason and didn't like going to school at all...
Then for class 4 Mom/Granny convinced Dad to change my school again to a one closer home, showed me the way to school (about 20mins walk from home), and it being a new school all the kids were new too - so I had a chance to make friends with everyone and then I just became myself again. Not that I topped the school or anything but I used to always be one in t op 5 and that seemed to be enough for Mom.

Why did I write all this - This experience of mine has left me very wary of Big schools, school far from home... I wonder what guarantee is there that the teachers will be kind and good? Even if they are - what if there are class barriers of money when my son wants to make friends - yes - being a part of a group is very important to any child. Just being a topper will not make him a good human being, will not teach him public interaction nor will it give him exposure to good and bad behaviour/manners and such...

Also, I realised much later that I would be scared - scared that 1 day if the class extended by 5mins I will miss my bus and get lost - not know how to go back home. I don't want Chuktu to go through the same fear. Insecurity and fear of not knowing how to go back home... Hence my reluctance in terms of distance.

Since groups were already established - there were sports groups,extra curricular groups and academic groups and no one wanted me there - so I began to lose confidence in myself. That is a big factor to the child's growth - isn't it?

And I know my Dad wanted the best for me. He had done his research - I remember him coming to school and talking to the principal, I remember the first day they took me to the school and how I played in the play area and liked it, I attribute my knowledge in English language to that school, it still remains a pretty good school winning competitions, good curriculum and extra curricular activities - everything that as parents anyone would look for. But my reluctance was enough for my parents to understand that the school was not for me. Because I was not happy...

And I'm trying to avoid the same mistake. Can I hit the jackpot the first time? - so my child gets everything he needs and is happy going to school...Because like all the other Moms I hear from - I completely agree - the most important factor - no matter what else - my child needs to be happy going to school...

PS: Yes, I remember all these things - though not most other happy stuff that happened even much later because these are not very pleasant memories for me - you can never forget the bad days - can you?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yaay, I won a Blog Contest




Organised by Ashreya and here's my entry for it on what Blogging means to me... That was one heartfelt post from me that didnt actually involve much thinking! So Thanks Ashreya Mom!! :-D Muuaah! Thank you!

Now this gives me confidence to participate in others too!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Education, Childhood,Exposure to latest trends...

Over the past couple of months I have been thinking about play school and school for Chutku and having conversations with lots of collegues about which school, what to look out for etc etc; And sometimes I feel the needs I have from a school is not sufficient when I hear from the other parents. Or am I outdated?

Sometime back I was talking to a collegue who proudly said that she had admitted her 3 yr old daughter to pre-school in a really big school which was a long distance from her home. The travel time itself was around an hour. So I asked her if the poor child wouldnt get tired of the travel itself and how she can always  change the school at a later date... So her response was she was shelling out a cool 1lakh for the child's admission (donation) and the annual school fees was about 30K at that point in time which was subject to change year on year and admitting the child in pre-nursery itself gets them some discount(?!) too. And why so expensive - Because they teach everything there - yoga,karate,skating,swimming and guess what - even horse riding itseems!!

And a college friend of mine who had come to Chutku's 1st Bday party also commented the same "Hey RS, start saving for his school admission from now only..."  All these got me thinking and thinking real hard.

Personally, I would put Chutku is a school that is closer home, even if it is a smaller school with lesser number of children to ensure individual attention. Also, closer home means lesser travel time and more time to do other things. For me, other things would be playing on the streets in the evenings like I used to and after a couple of years or whenever he shows any interest - an hour of some hobby class... I wouldnt care for the swimming/karate/skating lessons, I would rather have PT classes or SUPW (Socially Useful Productive Work) or Art classes for the kids like we did where the kids got to just relax and play - play in the grounds, run around or just learn to use their little fingers... Im not even going to mention horse riding here - I really find that ridiculous in Bangalore.And its definitely not about the money either. What matters to me is my child is learning something in the school, is happy to go to school, making friends and participating in other activities. Extra curricular for me means the elocutions/debates/essay writing/singing/drama/Painting competitions that we had and I always participated in. Even Band Set and March Past for that matter! Do they even have a bandset in schools these days? *Mental note to check* As for the other activities - There is always summer vacations and hobby classes - for which I would definitely encourage him if he shows the least bit interest and yes, the onus is on us parents to expose him to all these things and let him decide. Also, in such a discussion like a cousin pointed out - having these activities in school releaves the parents from taking time off their busy schedules to ferry the kids to these classes, but at this point in time I think Im ready to do it. I admit I might end up eating my own words later, though!

*Digress - I used to be an active member of the bandset and played the flute for about 5 yrs - from 4th std to 8th std and then the Cymbol for the last 2 yrs in school. And I remember my Band Master and PT master making me do the marchpast in  the school grounds to show everyone else how it is done!! Also, since the marchpast music NEEDED cymbol - there have been days when bandset practice was cancelled because I was on leave.I also used to really enjoy the zilla and district level competitions we used to attend for these. *End Digression.

So you all tell me:

Am I still behind the curve in giving more proirity to the proximity of the school to home/day care?
Am I wrong in thinking that swimming/karate/skating lessons are all not really that important when I search for a school?
Will I be depriving my child if I dont really insist that he needs to go to all these classes even if he is not interested?
Will I become a negligent Mom if I insist that my child go out and play in the evenings after school instead of tutions and running around from one hobby class to another? If he is interested in anything then thats a different matter but I would still say that he has to have some play time...
Will my child become an under achiever if I dont push him to all these things?
Will he be laughed at by his friends (Peer pressure) because his parents are OK if he is not a topper in class all the time or he is not pushed off to some class or the other? (Im just hoping him to be an average student and I will be ok with it I think)
Im not even talking about the quality of teachers here because no matter how much you pay and where you go - there will always be good/bad/average/strict/favourite teacher... And that again depends on the student/teacher relationship that will build on its own I think...*Digress here - I used to be very fond of my kannada teacher though everyone else thought she was strict.And our Neela Ma'am who was our english teacher was loved by one and all*

Would love to know what you all Mommy's (Non-Mommys too) think/feel about this - what would your preferences for your Child's school be?

Edited to add on 15th Sep:
In response to Sangi's and RM's post: http://rushmechatter.blogspot.com/2011/09/happy-going-to-school.html

Monday, September 12, 2011

SPB Concert, Family and Thothla Ram's latest...

Time's literally flying... Sometimes I am still recollecting the New Year party we hosted at the beginning of the year and we are almost 3/4th of the year completed now... sigh...

And can anyone tell me where the weekend flies? It was still saturday morning when I was getting things done around the house with Chutku tagging along and the next thing I know is Hubby's home early from work and begins making lofty plans of inviting people for dinner and going for a late night movie - He was so excited to see that he had the next 1.5 days free for himself :-)

And then I remembered that there was a SP Balasubrahmaniam's concert very close the Mom's house which I wanted to go,so for the 7pm show we decided to go at 5 and then stay back at Mom's house for the Satyanarayana Pooja on sunday. In a matter of 1hr I packed for all 3 of us/put clothes for washing/put them for drying/cleaned up the kitchen and off we were by 6.15... Dropped the little fellow at Mom's and then went to see the SPB show by 7.30 by which time the show had started. Was quite impressed by the arrangements and the stage, ate junk (including Cotton Candy with my niece :-) ) at the Karnataka food festival counter by Adigas, listened to some lovely Kannada songs by SPB (Actually he seemed to have lost some weight) and was amazed at the quality of his voice even at this age. The fun part - It began to rain and we walked back to the car in the rain along with Hubby's cousin's family and decided to eat Masala Puri on the road side - so standing in the rain - we had yummy masala puri's,bhel puri and Pani Puri. Felt young after a really long time on saturday night!

Sunday was a family day with all cousins gathered at mom's and full masti was had. The centre of attraction was ofcourse Chutku who kept everyone amused and entertained through the day. He took an instant liking to my Maama and was stuck to him like glue - making him run around on jelly and sand, including making him play Ninda,Ninda, Nochech (guess what this is?) - the 60 year old man was acting as much like Chutku himself and I guess my Atthe would've had to maalish his legs yesterday night! Chutku had full masti and was preening with all the attention he was getting. Eating and food went for a total toss...

The little fellow is picking up words faster than I can imagine and Im now a happy mom - there have been days when I used to worry about his vocabulary but these days... He has taken to saying 'No' for everything. Infact its a fame with him - Chutku Apple - "No Amma", Banana - "No Amma", Appacchi - "No Amma" - it goes on and on...And he took it a level higher yest evening - was trying to wear my cousin's pretty sandals and walk around and while Hubby said "No Chutku, keep it back" - he turned, looked up at his Dad, pointed his finger and said "No, Appa", picked up both the sandals and ran into the last room and began wearing it there!!! Everyone of us there just stood there with dropped jaws...

Every word he says has to have a 'Tha' - Thanatha (Kannadaka - Specs), thoyye (SoLLe - Mosquito), Thaach (watch), Thappi (Chappali - sandals) I cant recollect the rest now; and its FUN listening to him say the rhymes - Those words he doesnt know in a rhyme will be replaced with 'Nannanaa,thahththta...'!!!

Lesson learnt for this weekend (Borrowed from RM) - Make time to do your own thing and balance it with family too - ensures a good,happy weekend (though maybe not relaxed!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Denise the Menace and 90s songs...

Confused with the title? Well thats what this weekend was all about...

After a long time Chutku and I spent the weekend at our own home! With my parents away in Shirdi and my In-Laws for a weekend outing with friends - we werent expecting anyone home and had no where to go either! so what did we do - we slept and we slept and we listened to lovely 90s songs (Oh! remind me to put those links) and danced to it too :-) In between we managed to clean the kitchen/change bedsheets and all other sundry weekend tasks also got done in no hurry - No Hurry - that was the catch word for the weekend...

And why only chutku and I? Chutku's Dad was away at work - his project release having been postponed by 1 more week :-( God! Im looking forward to his release more than him I think! 3 months now without a weekend and long 12 hr days...

And all the menaces that the little Denise did:

Started with breaking my specs into 2 halves resulting in me going naked eye for 2 whole days :-( Yet to get my new frame and am temporarily wearing disposable lens today and squinting making, everyone in the office ask what happened!

Then he pulled the bed side drawer so hard that the entire drawer and the contents all collapsed - on his little finger which resulted in howling one can only imagine!

Again on saturday evening he fell flat on his face and has a nice blue bruise on that flat nose - playing in front of the house - what rain and cemented slope in front of the house gate can do...

He has discovered sketch pens! And we have a new artist and drawings on the dining room walls, I tried hiding one with a chair but now a new one has come up thats right next to the utility door and I can do nothing about it. That was what he was searching for (after I hid it) in the drawer that fell on his finger...

Have you ever seen a young boy fascinated with bangles? Im tired of hiding it from him - he somehow figures it out and all my bangles get strewn all around the house.Thankfully they are metal bangles - but they are all new - ones I bought for the wedding recently :-( I need to desperately alter the contents of every drawer in the room...

And  finally - to make him true to his name, we got him a hair cut yesterday evening - the entire Unisex parlor stopped functioning and was watching the proceedings - Imagine hubby actually sitting on the chair and holding him, me holding the little hands and head and Chutku screaming pleadingly "Ammaaaa, aaaammmmmaaaaaa" while the young hair dresser was sweating profusely to cut the 4 and 20 hair on the little fellows head - so finally - my Baby became a Boy yesterday and Im still wiping my tears... And he looks JUST like Denise the Menace including the cowlick that stands on top of the head!!

******************************************************************************
Listening to all nice 90s songs - taht started with my SIL sending me the link on youtube for the Superhit Muquabla and Top 10 songs. And I was selecting songs on Dishant.com collections to listen to all the 90s songs yesterday - Raah mein unse, Sambhala Hai maine, Chehra Kya Dekh te ho, Chaaha Toh Bahot, Is tarah aashiqui ka asar chod jaaoonga, Jhanjhariya - memories anyone?

And then today morning on Radio heard this: Ghar Se Nikalthe Hi... instant smiles to make the day and a sudden realisation that this song/movie was released in 1996?!! WTH?? :-O 15 years ago - whaaaaa???? F.i.f.t.e.e.n years - hubby says " Man! I feel so old"



Sunday, September 4, 2011

What blogging means to me...

Ashreya is running an anniversary contest and the best part is the subject of contest! Everytime hubby says you are hooked to blogging these days I give it a split second thought "why" and then let it go. So this gave me a chance to really think about why blogging is so important to me.

I got persuaded and then pressured to start blogging by my friend Sanju who first shared all the blogs she visits. And then I began my own journey - I got hooked on to MadMomma first and from there to many other wonderful bloggers.
This is the biggest advantage of blogging - It gives me exposure to a lot of topics and opinions that I would not otherwise even think about. I get to read about the places they visit, about The Slut Walk, the Children woes, books,music and movies,Anna Hazare, La Tomatina in Bangalore - So many topics covered with so much information on them - I might not even have looked at them in the news paper! So blogging has broadened my horizons. It gives me the begining and then I read up on any thing that I want to know more about.

Then I realise I can put in my own thoughts without having to justify them - to anyone. And that builds my confidence. Many times I put something here and then when there is a similar topic of discussion in the family - It gives me confidence to speak up. Where otherwise I would rather have kept quiet - unsure of my own thoughts. 

Everytime I put something here - sometimes it would still be unclear in the head but when I start writing the post - it gives me clarity of thought. And I enjoy reading the comments - sometimes a reader puts across something that I would have wanted to express but lost for words.

And I can get opinions and suggestions here - varied and unjudgemental on any topic. Even on how what saree I should wear for a reception! Its the personal touch - When Chutku was suffering from Colic and I was ready to do anything - I had on an impulse mailed MM. And the next day I had a response on what I can do to ease his pain. And I was so overwhelmed. Someone who doesny know me but understood my worries and responded to a random mail! And couple of times when Sangi replied with stores for curtain shopping and her prompt responses to my query on the carpenter...All these make blogging not just connection on the www but also in real life!

Oh! And I didnt mention the inspiration! Be it the design blogs like Colours Decor, some new dish cooked at home,Moms like RM, LF for all the effort they put for their cooking and weekend outings - Makes me want to do them all too!!

And finally some better acquaintances - People who would know me for what I am and would want to keep in touch not because I am someone's wife/Mother/daugher - but for the person I am. Those who read me because they want to! :-) No pressure there! That gives me pleasure. And that would also be the next step - to really be able to meet all these wonderful bloggers and make friends with them - like so many of them already are. That would be the best takeaway from blogging for me...

So - all you mommy bloggers who come here (even ocassionally!) do consider me next time for a get-together!!! - There I said it - shamelessly... 

Friday, September 2, 2011

On Festivals

MM wrote this post of festivals and I realised while reading the comments that there were so many things I wanted to add myself. I did too but then there was more so here goes.

There are so many small festivities in Karnataka we celebrate apart from Sankranthi (Pongal), Ugadi,Ganesh Chaturthi and Deepavali.

Bheemana amavasya - It falls on the amavasya day - beginning of ShravaNa month. It is a pooja for Lord Shiva who is the God of Death for the long life of the husband/wouldbe husband. But I've also heard people tell that it is a prayer that Goddess Parvati did to get her dream husband (ie; Shiva) and so all unmarried girls do this pooja to get a good husband! It is similar to Karva Chaut in the only way that it is a prayer for husband's long life but contrary to KC - there is no seeing the moon (its Amavasya!) and no fasting :-) Infact goodies are made as Naivedya to the God... Oh! And then if you have a brother he breaks a small piggy bank made of flour which will contain some small change though I dont know the significance of this.

Naga Panchami - This is a worship to the Snake gods to keep the brothers in the family healthy and happy. We offer steamed kadabu (modak) and milk to the God as offering that day.Generally the sisters gift something to the brothers on this day. And oh! We also dab a little milk and ghee on the stomach and back of the brother - a symbol of bathing in milk and ghee to wish him good health and wealth! It used to be fun as Bro would always scream that it was cold :-D

Varalakshmi vrata - Pooja to the goddess Lakshmi similar to what is performed during Diwali. A saree is draped and the face of the Goddess is dressed up with false hair/bindi/ hands are made rolled out of blouse pieces and bangles are put around them and ofcourse OBBaTTu is the sweet (similar to Pooran PoLi).

MangaLa Gauri Vrata - Not sure how many people would have even heard of this - Done by newly married women for the first 5 years of their marraige for a happy married life on 4/5 tuesdays of theShravaNa month.

Swarna Gauri Vrata/Ganesh Charuthi - The story goes that Gauri along with her son Ganesh comes to the mother's house for a holiday :-) And Ganga is their mode of transportation. So we first do pooja to Ganga ( a well in Mom's house) and then bring them in. Do the Gauri pooja and Ganesh pooja and then Visarjan when we send them back to their abode - again through Ganga :-) A point to be noted is that we send some food (generally sweetened/curd poha) for their onward journey. Also, the day after the Visarjan we still prepare goodies and special food because another story goes that Lord Shiva, after listening to GAuri and Ganesh about all the yummy food they ate, festivities they had - decides to see for himself what all the furore is. And he is the Son-In-Law - so he also has to be treated well too! Listening to all these stories makes them one of us - isnt it? And so bro and me always enjoyed this festival the most. Oh! And we give 'baagina ' to the ladies which includes all types of Dal/Rice/Jaggery and fruits along with the usual Haldi/kumkum.

Navaraatri - Bombe Habba as it is called. It is more famously called Gollu in Andhra/Tamil Naadu but mostly pooja is done to the various Goddesses for the 9 days including the Pattada Bombe - wooden Man and Woman toy that is given during one's wedding and dressed in finery. It is considered as Lakshmi Venkateshwara. Also, on the Durga ashtami day haldi kumkum is given to Kanya Muthiade - Pre pubescent girls. And its so much fun to watch it.

Oh and I shouldnt forget to add this - All Vrata's have a symbol of tying a yellow thread around the writst to indicate that one has successfully done the pooja. If the husband is present the thread is generally tied by him :-)

Another point to note is unlike in North India where most of the poojas insist that one has to starve, in the south we generally have a feast for all the festivities :-) which adds to more fun.