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The school search begins…

Its November, that time of the year where schools in Hyderabad give out admission forms for the next school year starting June.

All parents around me have warned me to get started with the school research. Apparently, you should enroll your kid into the school of your choice in nursery. I have been told that its harder to get enrolled in kindergarten or in first grade.

Varun is still a baby and I can’t think about school and him in the same sentence, but for the past week or so, school is what I have on my mind. At ~3 years, kids begin going to a nursery school for 3 1/2 hours.

As we both work, we also need to figure our after school day care and transportation from the school to daycare.

And also, we need to look at which curriculum we want to enroll Varun ( International Board IGCSE or CBSE), commute ( send him by school bus or drop him and pick him up), smaller school or an established larger organization etc. Too many factors to think about.

Following is the list of schools that we have in mind:

1. Oakridge International School

2. Chirec Public School

3. Indus

4. Manthan

5. Delhi Pubic School

6. Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan

Based on early feedback from friends and colleagues, last two are hard to get in and are very academics heavy. If you want your kid to win Olympiads and get into IIT these are the schools to go to. Oakridge and Chirec are both very popular with Indians returning back. Both have variety of  extra curricular activities, strong faculty though parents mentioned Chirec is more focussed on academics than Oakridge. But Oakridge have air-conditioned  classrooms –  a luxury by Indian standards but a necessity while enduring Hyderabad summers.

Indus seems to be perfect bet with the balance of academics and others activities but is too far from Kondapur area (where we live) and is also the most expensive. Manthan is one of the smaller schools not quiet as established as Oakridge and Chirec but loved by the parents who send their kids there.

Anyways, we also have the option of taking a chance and not sending him to these big banner schools and keep him in a smaller school for nursery. The class size will be around 15 – 20 and he will not be lost in sea of faces. And hopefully he will get to have some fun as well.

7. Oi Playschool School

8. Blueblocks

Well, this is just the beginning. Over the next couple of weeks we plan to visit a few of these schools, collect forms, get more information, talk to more parents and possibly be inetreviewed (parent interviews 😦 ) as we begin the next phase of parenting journey.

If you have recommendations, resources and feedback that will help us narrow this down, please leave a comment below.

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Trans’Planting

We are in our 4th month of Indian Adventure. The move has been a great exercise in uprooting our lives in USA and transplanting it in India. For now we have unpacked and settled into a new home, but the garden remained behind. Those spring blooming daffodils and tulips, followed by azaleas, early summer hydrangeas, mid summer blue berries (and Varun chomping on them) and blazing nandina, weepling maple and Kastura in the fall, in my memory, will never fade.

A home, I believe, is incomplete without its garden.Even a small plant, be it succulent , herb or creeper, adds life to the home. A little bit of greenery calms the home. It’s no wonder that every home design magazine, blog or website has a section on gardening and include greenery to add depth to their staged home photos.

While I don’t have a yard here, I have four large sunny balconies where I dream of growing tomatoes, peppers, spinach, mint, coriander  and lettuce – once I figure out a place to get seeds. Till then I am making do with two potted plants by the front door.They welcome anyone visiting our home in a Tara Dillard way.

I got these 2 plants from a road side nursery across from Shilparamam in Hyderabad. The nursery is a sharp contrast to nurseries that I have been used to – Molbaks , Gray Barn and Flower World with acres and acres of plants sorted by sun requirements, ornamental v/s edibles, trees v/s shrubs v/s creepers etc.

This is tiny nursery stocking sun-loving plants (out in open) and shade loving plants (under the tarp). They don’t sell any seeds or vegetable or fruit plants. I walked around the nursery with Varun and my mom , selected a couple of plants and asked them to pot it up for me. Varun loved running amongst the neatly arranged rows of plants, tried to feel different leaves textures ( sensory development anyone?) and tried to pluck the flowering daisies when I had to distract him and show the pots to him.

That didn’t work as he was immediately attracted to thorny cacti like plants and then moved on to playing in the mud by the entrance. It was time to warp up the nursery trip and head home before Varun was covered in the red mud. Anyways, it began to lightly drizzle as well so we would have headed home anyways.

While plant shopping, make sure you ask for price as you see the plants. Most small plants were Rs. 100 -150 and larger ones were Rs. 200- 250.I should have bargained but  was a bit carried away just being in a nursery. Having mom around helped as she spoke to the nursery owner in Telugu which saved me from paying NRI prices.

Anyways, Rs 700 later (or roughly more than $12), we walked out with 2 plants, 2 pots with matching drip trays, potted up in red soil. This nursery was a bit pricier than what I would have paid somewhere else in the city/outside city per my driver. Oh well, we live and learn.

For now, I have 2 plants by our door swaying cheerfully in the light monsoon breeze. Hope they stay cheerful and don’t die in my care!

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