Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tag of three

Three things I’d like to do

1.Lose weight
2.Sit down on a sandy beach on a full moon day
3.Go back in time to my care free youth

Three things I hate to do

1.Scold my servants and sub-ordinates
2.Stand in a long queue on a sultry afternoon
3.Have my meals on my own

Three people whom I’d like to meet

1.President Abdul Kalam
2.Super Cop Kiran Bedi
3.Social activist Medha Patkar

Three things I long to have

1.Four more inches of height
2.The lovely long hair that I had once upon a time
3.More discretion over my words

Three things that make me glad

1. The innocent smile of a child
2. Listening to soft music late into the night
3. The smell of wet mud after a light shower

Three things that make me sad

1.The mini adult that our kids are becoming
2.Poverty and lack of education among my countrymen
3.My own inability to do anything for them

Three things that break my heart

1.The sorrow of a mother who loses her child
2.Killing of innocent civilians in the name of terrorism
3.Rampant corruption with no hope of a remedy and the indifference of the public who accept it without a question

Three things that I like to dream about

1.The return of my children to their homeland
2.A pollution free environment
3.A full stop to the dowry menace

Three things that need to be stopped

1.Letting school going children drive motorized vehicles
2.Burdening children with parental ambition
3.Breaking children’s back with over weight school bags

Three people I like to tag

1.Usha Vaidyanathan

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happy Ram Navami!

Today is Ram Navami day. The Hindu community celebrates the birth of Lord Ram on this day. Ram was known for his obedience to his father and according to the Hindu mythology he spent fourteen years in exile to keep his father’s promise to his step mother. If Ram was the ideal son, his brother Lakshman was the ideal brother who accompanied him to the forest and his wife Sita who undertook a life of penance by going along with them was the ideal wife. Ramayan tells us about the duties of a son to his father and the bond that ought to exist among brothers and the righteousness exhibited by Bharat when he refused the crown and slipped into the role of caretaker till his brother Ram came back to be crowned as the rightful heir to the crown. I have read Rajaji’s version of Ramayan and listened to various debates concerning the characters in the epic.

All this was easy for me having been born a Hindu. I have accepted the divinity in the character of Ram without question. I feel that in these days of terrorism and changing equation of interpersonal relationships the epic ought to be read and analyzed even by skeptics who question the godliness of the characters. We are living in turbulent times. Unity and integrity at every level needs to be emphasized and the stipulations of good governance understood. There are other aspects like monogamy and loyalty to one’s spouse that are dealt with in the story. There is a dialogue by Lord Ram’s father spoken at the time of his marriage that every parent should realize when the son’s marriage is proposed and negotiated. He says that the girl’s father is giving away his daughter and the boy accepts the girl as wife. The hand of the acceptor has to be at a lower level and he has to always be thankful to the donor for giving away something that was precious and invaluable to him. If every family learnt to look at marriage this way all the fuss created over trivial issues at the time of marriage by the groom’s party could be avoided. The worth and value of the daughter in law/ wife would be realized and all the young girls who responded to my previous blog would feel loved and accepted.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Saas_bahu - my take

I read with interest Usha Vaidyanathan’s “Saas_bahu-my take” and wanted to do a sequel from my point of view. I have referred to the relationship between a daughter in law and the members of her newly acquired family in earlier posts in a light and not so light vein. This time I wish to deal with it as my thirty four years of experience allows me to view it. Please try to analyze the issue with the patience it deserves.

Times have changed or so they say. However, the tussle between mothers in law and daughters in law remains the same. We rarely hear of problems between a daughter in law and the male members of the family. It is always a sister in law, a co – sister and a mother in law who are declared as trouble makers. Is this perhaps because women are emotionally vulnerable? I wouldn’t know for sure.

Fellow blogger Balaji once mentioned in a comment to one of my posts that his mother and paternal grand mother got on well with each other and though his mother belonged to a well to do family she had no adjustment problems and even supplemented the family income by preparing pappadams for sale. The two women would attend community celebrations of Navarathri happily contributing in their own way by arranging for the puja and helping out in the decorations. Another blogger Ardra had a similar story to share and had a kind word for her mother in law whom she calls valliamma which is a Malayalam word that, if I am not wrong translates as ‘big mother’. I often wonder if I would get a daughter in law who’d be willing to bond with me the way I myself bonded with my husband’s family. I am willing to walk the extra mile in making sure that she is at home with me. In these days of ‘hi and bye’ am I asking for too much?

There is an opinion that joint families are the cause of tension between MIL/DIl. Financial insecurity is another reason. Financial insecurity in a joint family is like adding fuel to fire. My own experience is different. I took time to bond – a couple of years perhaps. But it was possible mainly because my in laws were staying with us. Children came along and the love and affection they showered on them and the liberty they took to correct them when they were wrong, will remain as pleasant memories all my life. Artnavy had mentioned that her mother and grandmother would gang up against her father. Such was the bond they enjoyed. Her comments took me back in time and I recalled instances when my mother in law stood up for me. When I think of those early years in a strange environment with people diametrically opposite to me, I seem to have forgotten the emotional and financial tensions I faced and remember only the nice things.

Joint families have almost disappeared. Most parents have enough financial resources to see them through their old age. All they require is a little care and concern. It is the responsibility of a son/daughter to help their spouse to bond with their family. Long distance relationships take a while to develop. Let it happen naturally. I was surprised that many young women staying abroad leading a fairly independent existence bearing a grudge against their in laws for non existent reasons. This is only because they have not spent time with them. Men are less emotional. My husband hardly calls up anyone unless he has something to say. I am the one who talks to his sister and sister in law. So is it with many other men including my son. It is not as if they lack affection. It is just that they do not have that many topics to talk about. That does not mean that the daughter in law also has to maintain a distance. In an alien environment I found myself talking in sign language to Chinese and Japanese grandmothers. We were all grandmothers exchanging notes on the progress of our grandkids. Is it not possible to extend the same courtesy to the couple who happen to be your husband’s parents? They wait for those weekly phone calls just to hear about your children and you. A mother in law may not be the same as your mother. She can at least be the next best. Minor irritations are best ignored and whether mother or daughter in law they need to be accepted with their shortcomings. A little effort and lots of patience will make it so much easier for all. Good luck!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


My husband’s problem began when we went to the US last time. Within a week of our arrival he caught a persistent cold. Change of weather could be the cause he insisted. He refused to see a doctor and stuck to mild, over the counter pills that we had taken along.
A fortnight went by and there was no relief. My husband calls me adamant but he was now stuck with a companion that made me appear the most adjusting soul mate. It was perhaps due to non - stop air conditioning I suggested and my daughter regulated the temperature to a suitable level. Two months gone and still there was no relief.

“My system is perhaps used to air pollutants so this dust free environment does not seem to suit me” my husband tried to make a joke of it. I knew better. He was beginning to get worried. A running nose was now accompanied by a nagging headache and breathlessness.

“His resistance is low mummy ask him to give up tobacco” whispered my daughter.

I knew that it was easier said than done so I kept quiet. We finally cut short our trip and returned to India. I was kind of certain that once we reached India his condition would improve but that was not to be. Courses of antibiotics supplemented by steam inhalation, a switchover to homoeopathic treatment, and chest massage with mustard oil were all tried but none of these gave him any relief. Now I was beginning to get worried. I hadn’t realized that a common cold could give us sleepless nights. Unknown to him I looked up the Internet for the various causes of a running nose. We finally thought of going for master check up and headed towards Chennai.

Now, Chennai is a metropolis a far cry from the cozy township we live in. There were dozens of well-established hospitals and private nursing homes and each one of them seemed to have an impressive record. My husband suffers from selective xenophobia that gets worse when I’m with him. He is never comfortable with taxi drivers and prefers to take a bus. He is forever unsure of the routes and the mortified look on his face was sure to reveal that we were new to the place to anyone who had the time to observe. It took us a day to choose an appropriate nursing home that would cater to our need and suit our budget as well. We finally decided on a clinic that clinic looked impressive. We walked in and asked to see the doctor at the reception.

“Please pay an advance of Rupees Two Thousand at the counter” said the receptionist in an artificially sweet voice.

“We’re here only for consultation” I said “that can’t cost so much.”

The receptionist began to get impatient.

“Ma’am” she said in a tone that now contained no artificial sweetener “ any one who comes here has to have a few routine tests performed. The senior doctor will see your husband only after that.”

“And what would those ‘few’ routine tests be?” Now it was my turn to lose patience.

“ECG, chest X ray, lipid profile, CT scan, blood sugar and pressure, urine creatinin and culture test and any other test as the junior doctors decide as imperative. Next” the receptionist called out to the next patient.

“ What did she say?” my husband who was standing by my side asked.

One would have thought that he did not understand Tamil. I patiently repeated the entire conversation.

“ Ask her if we can get these tests done elsewhere.” My husband behaved as if he avoided talking to ladies.

Like a mediator I repeated his question to the lady at the counter.

“No way!” the lady seemed appalled “ The senior would never trust results from any other lab.”

We paid the money and awaited our turn. My husband continued to rave and rant against the system. His tirade continued non-stop making other patients turn around and take notice. I had a tough time in getting him to calm down.

It took us two hours to get all the tests done and finally a team of junior doctors examined my husband.

“Sir, your problem is due to water filled nasal polyps caused due to allergy” the doctor said “ the senior will see you and decide on the line of treatment.”

We waited patiently for another hour. There was no sign of being called in by the senior.

We went to the junior doctor to find out whether his senior would make himself available that day.

“He is now in the middle of a teleconference” he said “ he will start seeing patients once he is through”

Another hour passed. No sign yet of the teleconference having ended. The junior doctors continued to laugh and talk among themselves.

My husband just could not take any more of their apathetic attitude. He walked into the senior doctor’s chamber unannounced.

The senior doctor was seated in a high chair talking over the phone while taking sips of hot coffee in between.

“How is the weather in Singapore?” he was asking, “raining? Why don’t you send us a few showers? We’re being burnt alive in Chennai. We plan to come over to shop for our daughter’s marriage.”

We could only hear his side of the conversation and he continued.

“I’ll be sending you an experienced technician. Pay him 40,000/- dollars per annum. He will not agree to anything less than that.

He stopped short on seeing us at the door.

It was my husband’s turn to talk.

“Sir, so this was the teleconference you were having when at least a hundred of us waiting for our turn to see you. Don’t you realize that its our money that will pay for your trip to Singapore apart from the commission you may be earning by recruiting nurses and technicians for your friend….”

He might have continued but I managed to drag him out of the room.

In the meanwhile the junior doctor who came rushing apologized profusely first to his senior and next to my husband. As a reward for his outburst my husband was sent in immediately.

The senior doctor repeated what his junior had already told us and suggested that his nasal polyps be surgically removed.

“Sir,” said my husband “ How much would the operation cost and would the cure be permanent?”

“No guarantee” the doctor replied, “ The operation can improve the quality of your life for the time being but if your system is exposed to the allergen polyps can recur.”

“Sir” my husband asked, “Is there any means of identifying the source of allergy?”

“Dr. Mukund” called out our senior doctor “What are you doing yaar?. Why don’t you clarify this gentleman’s doubts? I cannot talk to him all day.”

His junior promptly led us out of the chamber and gave a new list of tests to be performed at the laboratory of the doctor’s classmate.

“Why not elsewhere?” my husband asked. “Sir, we are new to the place and have a lot of trouble in tracing different localities. There is a lab near the place where we are put up. Why can’t we get these tests done there?”

“The choice is yours,” said the doctor “you either go to the place suggested by us or go elsewhere for you treatment. But remember if you change doctors at this stage the tests already done at our clinic may not be acceptable to your treating doctor.”

“My mind is made up,” replied my husband “ I’m not interested in sponsoring your senior’s trip to Singapore. I prefer to pamper my running nose. Goodbye”

We left the place wondering if this is what educated people like us faced what would be the plight of villagers and the many who come to Chennai not knowing a word of the local language. God help them!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The soothsayer's words-part III

Sita did not answer for a long time. Ramya was fuming from within but managed to keep her thoughts to herself. How easy it was for these intruders to subject her dear aunt to this sort of emotional black mail. Would all those years lost in solitude ever come back? Finally Sita spoke.

“I’ll accompany you to your place but on one condition.” She said. “Your father should not try to get familiar with me as long as I stay at your place. He is a stranger to me and will always remain so. I have often thought over the joke that my marriage turned into and tried to assess in my mind as to what went wrong. For some strange reason I never felt like blaming your mother. If her troubled mind would find peace on meeting me, so may it be. But my compassion for a dying woman should not be mistaken for any weakness of character. I am well past my youth and it would not harm me to spend the rest of my life with my brother’s family. You are right in a way. If you had not accompanied your father with your personal request I might have found it difficult to believe in the gravity of the situation. Just give me five minutes to pack. We can leave immediately.”

Sita’s brother could not bring himself to send her alone with two men who were practically unknown to her but Sita had no such problem. The three of them left by car and reached Hyderabad early next morning. Hari’s wife Lakshmi was in very bad shape. But her eyes lit up on seeing Sita.

“Akka” she said in a voice that was barely more than a whisper, “I knew you would come” Forgive me for having taken your place in this house. Believe me, I was not aware of your existence at the time of my marriage. In our times we girls were kept out of the negotiations that precede marriage. I often thought of you but could not bring myself to ever meeting you in person.”

“Hush, Lakshmi do not strain yourself” Sita said. “Please do not blame yourself. You must to forget the past and concentrate on getting well.”

“I will Akka” smiled Lakshmi in spite of her pain. “I do want to spend sometime in your company. I want to see you take your rightful place in this house. Only then will I feel forgiven by the almighty.”

Unfortunately Lakshmi’s desire remained unfulfilled and she passed away that very night. Everyone who came for the last rites including Lakshmi’s parents urged Sita to stay on. Hari could not look at Sita in the face much less request her to stay back. Arun was wary of saying anything to the effect lest his intention be misunderstood. He was full of respect for the woman who could have made life hell for his mother but carried herself with a dignity that was difficult to describe. She seemed close enough and yet maintained a distance. She got involved and yet stayed aloof. It was as if she had drawn a line between right and duty and stuck to her duty but never crossed over to claim her rights.

Finally the day came when Sita’s brother who had come for the ceremony to return.

“Pack your things Sita,”he said “let us return home.”

“Let me remain here for a few more years Anna” Sita said “I’ll return once Arun gets married and a daughter in law takes charge of the household. Lakshmi would never forgive me if I left him alone in his grief. He is already twenty three and has taken charge of his father’s business. We can get him to settle down in a year or two. I don’t need to stay here after that.”

Sita’s tone ruled out any further discussion in the matter. At the risk of sounding like the script writer of a Bollywood commercial film, I have to add that Arun did marry Ramya and Sita spent her remaining years fussing over them like a mother hen. She never ever spoke to Hari who in turn respected her wish and accepted her silence as punishment for his conceited indifference towards her for no fault of hers.

It may appear that I was influenced by your inputs to thus end the story. Not at all. This story is based on real life incidents and I have tried my best to report it as such. My question is ‘Was Sita’s decision to accompany Hari and Arun and to continue to stay there even after Lakshmi’s death a sign or weakness?' How would those of you who subscribe to feministic views react to this story? Please remember that all this took place more than 50 years ago.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The soothsayer's words-part II

Hari came the very next day as if he was in a tearing hurry. He had brought his son with him. He was very business like and came to the point without beating round the bush. His wife was suffering from terminal cancer and had only a few months to live. She was full of remorse for what she had done to Sita and wanted to ask for her forgiveness. She was in no condition to travel and could only plead with folded hand that Sita pay her a visit just once. He could not look at Sita in the face and had brought his son to mediate. Sita was at liberty to refuse to accompany him but his family would be indebted to her for ever if she did. Once the two ladies had met and his wife’s troubled conscience had been eased, his son would bring her back.

Sita was dumbfounded. She had not foreseen such a turn of events and did not know how to react. The family was also in a dilemma. A death wish had to be honored but they had no intention of pressurizing Sita.

It was Hari’s son Arun who broke the silence.

“Periamma” he said, addressing Sita directly. “It was my idea to approach you directly with my mother’s plea. My father could never have mustered enough courage to come to your place had I not offered to accompany him. I cannot bear to see my mother suffer in this manner. Steroids and pain killers can alleviate her physical agony. But you alone can give her a peaceful death. She does not have much time nor is she in a condition to travel. I leave it to you to decide.”

(To be continued)

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Soothsayer's words

Sita could just not believe her ears. Did she hear right? Was it really a letter from her husband asking for permission to visit them? Her brother brought the letter to her room and asked for her opinion in the matter. His wife was equally indignant.

“Don’t allow the scoundrel to step into our village” she said. “What brings him here after all these years? No way! Akka is fine with us. Why does he was to disturb our peaceful existence?”

When the soothsayer(Kudukudupandi as Tamilians would understand) had announced in the wee hours of the morning that her husband would come looking for her she chose to ignore his words. He would come later in the day and collect some left over food and old clothes as a reward for announcing the impossible. ‘Her husband Hari coming for her?? Impossible’ she had thought. He had left her long back and had maintained no contact since then. She had almost forgotten his face and could not recollect his voice. ‘Had he ever spoken to her’ she wondered, while she smiled to herself at the irony of things. Her marriage had been a farce, her husband having refused to take her along because the color of her skin was in sharp contrast to his. Hers was an arranged marriage and she was just twelve years of age when they married. As was the prevailing custom the elders in the family negotiated and fixed a date for the ceremony. The boy’s mother had come along with a few other ladies to see her and expressed her approval. She had only hazy memories of the event. She had been playing with sea shells in the back yard when her mother dressed her up in haste and presented her to her future mother in law. Someone had asked her to sing and she was sent away after she had prostrated at the feet of those present. Her aunt later informed her that she was to get married to someone in far off Hyderabad.

After her marriage she continued to stay at her parent’s place and was secretly happy to be allowed to remain there. It was her aunt who confided to her in hushed tones that her husband had refused to accept her presence in his house even as a ‘maid servant’. He had married a beautiful girl from a neighboring village. His parents were truly sorry at the turn of events and had even returned the items given as dowry at the time of her marriage. They could do nothing more. Her parents consulted astrologers and palm readers who were unanimous in their opinion. The planetary position as indicated by her horoscope was not favorable to her leading a happy married life. Her parents were in no mood to defy fate and had accepted her presence in their home. She was a great asset to them in her own way. Over the years she had picked up a lot of culinary skills and house keeping. She was mild mannered and adjusted well with her brother’s wives. She was a second mother to their children and an unpaid baby sitter to her neighbors who would leave their children with her when they had any important work to attend to. Twenty five years had gone by and her niece Ramya was now a beautiful young woman studying in college.

“What are you smiling at aunty?” …..

Sita looked up to see Ramya eyeing her with curiosity.

“Nothing” replied Sita “I was thinking of what the soothsayer said. Sometimes they seem to read into the future.”

“And what did he say?” Ramya asked.

“It seems your uncle is going to come for me soon.” Sita’s voice faltered for the first time and unknown to Ramya she wiped a tear drop that slid from her eye.

“Even if he comes you should refuse to go with him. He has no business asking you to accompany him. But wait a second aunty. He may want you to sign some property papers or may be he wants a divorce.” Ramya seemed worried. “You won’t leave us will you? What would we do without you?”

“Don’t be silly child” admonished Sita. “Why would he come for me? He has a family of his own, a beautiful wife, children and a flourishing business. Why would he want a divorce now? I have never interfered with his life nor do I want a share of his property. He should be aware of all this by now.”

“Why then is he asking to visit us?” Ramya persisted.

“You should take up law Ramya.” Laughed Sita. “You’d make an excellent lawyer.”

“This is no laughing matter aunty” Ramya continued to voice her concern. “Amma is right. He should not be granted permission to come.”

“I’ve asked your father to allow him to come if he wants to. But I won’t speak to him. In fact I’ve requested him not to call me to the living room as long as he is here. I don’t even want to see him.”

“Why then should he come at all?” Ramya sounded worried.

“We’ll know soon enough. Now go to sleep. You have college tomorrow.” Sita put an end to the conversation.
(To be continued)


Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wake Up and Act

I had resolved right at the onset of the year 2007 that I would try to do my bit to create awareness among my students about the socio-medical problems that would result in society on account of female feticide and infanticide. I am indeed lucky to have students who are receptive and look forward to these sessions. These are simple girls with a middle class background neither too ambitious nor over smart. I have also converted this time into one in which they can try expressing themselves in English. Since I make a note of their errors in expression the girls love pointing out to mistakes made by their friends who in turn wait for their turn to settle scores. All this is done in good spirit with all of them learning a lot in the process. On one such occasion I tried to generate opinion on what they perceive as reasons for a mother giving into pressure from their husbands or relatives to abort her unborn girl child. The response was almost unanimous. Their mothers keep mentioning about the financial strain that the family would face at the time of their marriage. In families where there was no male child the pressure on parents was even more. They fear that while they would do their best to procure a well employed groom for their daughters they themselves could have no expectations from their sons in law or daughters. The girls also felt that their mothers were also under pressure from their grandparents who believed that a grandson alone had a role to play in the performance of their last rites, to try again and again for a male issue. These mothers in turn opted for Sex Determination tests and chose to abort the unborn female child, very often much against their will. The awareness and easy availability of such tests to the middle class has only compounded the problem. Education, instead of helping them to stand up against their families, has only made them opt for the seemingly easy way out.

In the program I mentioned in my previous post, the secretary of the NGO group that works for child rights gave a heart rending account of a practice that is followed in rural Rajasthan. This may be the case in other states as well. Some of you could perhaps share more information in this regard.
It seems when a pregnant woman goes into labor the male members of the family wait in the front verandah or living room while the female huddle into a room in the interior with some older woman attending to the lady in question. The birth of a son is announced with gun shots in the air and bursting of fire crackers, but if the infant is a girl an elderly woman comes out and asks-
“ Baraat ko rehney doon ya lauta doon?” meaning “Shall I let the marriage party remain or should I send them back?”
The males then decide whether the girl should be allowed to live or not. If they decide that the girl should not live, the next question asked is “How should the ‘baraat’ be returned?” The male members then decide how the child may be put to death-the most common method being to stuff the baby’s mouth with tobacco.

Friends, it is not my intention to depress you. Those of us who can make an impact should do our bit by educating those around us of the social issues that can crop up if the female population dwindled. We may have more Draupadis marrying 5 men at the same time or prostitution may be legalized. Rapes and unwanted pregnancies may increase and we’d be hearing about love octagons instead of love triangles. I am not joking at all and believe me if this continues we will return to Stone Age very soon

My thoughts on Women's Day

March 8th was International Women’s Day and women from all over the world would be reviewing their status as home makers, income generators and child bearers. Meetings will be held and the rights of women will be emphasized. I am sure Women Organizations all over the world are doing their best to educate women to fight oppression and to stand up for themselves. I do not have to add to what has already been stressed so many times. I wish to direct your attention to something entirely different - the mental block a woman suffers from, that in turn makes her willingly accept a sub-ordinate role in society.

We have women who have been earning member’s of their families but take pride in saying that they never go to the bank to draw money. Their pass books are updated by their husbands and they wouldn’t know their increment date. They cannot/will not fill out a railway reservation slip, let alone income tax return forms. It suits them to remain so. We have college teachers who pay Rs.100/- to clerks who are much less educated to fill out these forms and submit them at the appropriate counter. I wonder if all this talk of WOMEN EMPOWERMENT has any meaning in their lives. “All this is so complicated. I’d rather pay money to get it done” is what they say. These decked up dolls claim that they are being exploited.

I attended a program that marked the International women’s day and came back disillusioned and dejected. The central theme was female feticide. Survey in East Singhbhum district where I live, showed that the decline in female population was sharper in urban rather than rural areas. Earlier only the upper class could afford these tests but now even middle class families availed the services of clinics that offered sex determination test facilities registered or otherwise. Education/literacy and empowerment of women were not correlative. Having a job did not automatically ensure empowerment. They still yielded to pressure from their families. Or did they also perhaps believe that a girl child was a liability?

I shall discuss the issue of female feticide later. Let me put down a few points that come to my mind regarding women empowerment.

1) Women must learn to respect and love themselves. Self esteem alone can empower them.
2) Women must learn to take responsibility. Rights and duty go hand in hand.
3) Mothers have to teach their sons to respect women.
4) Disparity among men and women is man made and not god given. It needs to be overcome.
5) The girl child needs to be told by her that she is not ‘paraya dhan’ but an important permanent member of her maternal home, entitled to their love and affection as much as her brother. This will go a long way in making her aware of her duties to her parents. A woman who has the affection and support of her parents will be respected better by her husband and his family.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Trying out the visual tag

Itching to write taged me with this was fun doing it.Will hill gmom please take it up?