Remembering Daddy…

Three years it has been… how time flies!

Every year after that fateful day, when this part of the month comes around, I start feeling jittery. I go about my daily chores, but when I’m by myself, the memories come flooding back – in the three days starting from my grand-dad’s birthday, the mind starts recounting the events – the conversations and sequences start tumbling out of the mind’s closet. I can’t help but think about the could-have-been’s and what-if’s. It almost makes me tremble and I become jumpy, getting irritated at the slightest of provocation.

Yesterday on the way back, I felt restless, unable to sleep in the cab and unable to sit still. I thought I’ll at-least tune into the radio on my phone, which I hardly ever do while I’m travelling. I was hoping to catch some old melodies – dad’s favourites which would bring back good, happy memories. I tuned into Akashavani and the minute I did so, the RJ announced a Veena recital program of a Thyagaraja krithi by R K Raghavan. I was stunned! As the mellifluous notes from the Veena started playing I felt my nerves ease and the heart relax. It felt like a sign from daddy and I felt at peace for the first time in three days.

Dad was a music-lover – he liked music in its many forms, but his absolute favourite was Carnatic Classical music. He himself had taken Veena lessons from the famous Veena maestro R K Suryanarayan, even going for classes after office-hours in his middle-age years! He imbibed the love for music in us – me and my sis and insisted that we take Vocal music lessons. While I had relented and had taken lessons from a very strict music teacher Shri Lakshmana Shastri near-by our home, my sis had put up huge fights and wouldn’t go to him for classes, no matter what!😀 He and the old Veena instrument at home were also the inspiration for me to later keep in touch with Carnatic music, by taking Veena classes from another lady teacher.

Dad was also a connoisseur of old Hindi film music and was a fan, especially of Rafi and Mukesh hits. I, being a huge Kishore Kumar fan, would have arguments with him that Mukesh was no good! These days whenever I listen to Mukesh’s songs, it instantly reminds me of dad and our arguments. Me and my sis would break into impromptu songs and antakshari-sessions whenever we felt like and dad couldn’t keep quiet, he would butt in with his song choices and we would shoo him away!🙂

My memories of school and college days from home are filled with mornings waking up to strains of classical music and Sundays filled with Hindi film songs. Almost the entire day, the radio would be on – if not, it would be the various cassettes he would play. Sundays meant – old Classic hits, late heavy lunch, good afternoon siesta and a tall glass of evening tea. How I miss those days!😦

Yesterday during the cab-ride back home, I also happened to look out and noticed a big rose bush outside a home. I travel almost the same way each day but haven’t ever noticed this house or the bush. Yesterday I did. It was a wild bush, growing in all directions – with many beautiful blooms of cream-yellow roses. It was the very same kind which used to grow in abundance at our home on the plants, which dad used to tend-to for years.

Another sign, may be? It reminded me of the days when I was young and we used to stay at the quarters – we had so many fruit-bearing and flowering plants and trees – dad seemed to have a way with them. They all grew and gave us fruits and flowers in abundance. If I look at my childhood photos, not one can I find where I don’t have a flower in my hair! Even when I had short hair, a rose adorned my pig-tails or sometimes it was the dahlia too!! Random happy memories.

Memories – that’s all is what is left of him now. As time rolls by, the memories start fading – will I remember all in such clear detail many years from now? I hope I do. I hope my son remembers his thatha always – the one who took on the role of a doting grandfather once he was born. I would see him become a child himself and play with him for hours – inventing new games and coming up with the silliest of jokes. I could any day trust him to take care of my son while keeping him engaged, right from when he was some months old – something which I don’t believe my mother can claim to do, even now! I hope my son inherits his thatha’s love for music and plants and books, and chess and carrom too. And his amazing sense of hospitality, which would be so extreme sometimes, that it would exasperate us ladies at home!

I also hope that my dad is at peace and looking over us with happiness, from wherever he is now. Love you dad, always!🙂

Happy tenth!

A decade – ten years it has been – of togetherness. Should I be saying – ‘you complete me‘? Nah, I would rather say – ‘I am incomplete without you‘!🙂

It has not been a easy ride (is anybody’s ever?) – there have been ups and downs, triumphs and trials, laughs and lows, tears and toasts… moments when one’s felt euphoric, that life can never be better and others when one has felt down in the dumps, like it was the worst!

Marriage, they say is a life-changing event. I would agree whole-heartedly, especially it still is, in our society and is an important milestone in each of our lives. It’s important that you have someone to share your thoughts with, to laugh-along or to find solace when you’re upset about something – a friend, a companion, a lover, a guide, a protector, a provider, someone who needs your care and attention like a child. I’d say, we experience a plethora of relationships through our spouse. The demands are different and the roles you need to essay keep changing, it’s a dynamic relationship – ever-changing and that’s what makes it interesting. And no matter how many years pass, each day is different.

The initial years are all about moments that set your heart a-flutter – when you’re discovering each other and what makes him/ her tick. You’re fine-tuning your frequencies, being in generous moods to adjust and accept, all in the name of love/ tenderness that you feel for the other person. Whoever said that one has to be in love to get married, was ill-informed. There can be love after marriage too – as has been proved by the several hundreds of arranged marriages over the generations of our parents and grand-parents. You might argue all you want – that these marriages were not on equal terms, that the women didn’t have much choice and the men had the final word always. But you can’t deny that there was love – that’s the beauty of it, isn’t it? that love can have so many manifestations!

Slowly as you settle into the humdrum of married life, a few years down the line, life starts losing it’s rosy sheen and you begin to see the flaws and the idiosyncrasies in the partner – what used to amuse you once, might just irritate you or worse still, might be disgusting in some extreme cases. You begin to make further adjustments and a slow sense of familiarity and sometimes resignation – looking at the bigger picture, sets in. Also around the beginning of these years, a child makes an appearance and priorities shift. The bundle of joy becomes the attention-seeker and all efforts go in trying to appease and take care of your child. The child is the apple of your eyes and every single routine begins to revolve around him/ her. The marriage and the sense of seeking comfort in each others’ arms takes a back-seat.

Further years cause more adipose tissues to be built around the relationship as each settles into their own comfort zones and the keen sense of sensitiveness (which is a given during the early years) starts disappearing and you begin to take your partner for granted. Another child or two doesn’t change the equation much and each gets busier with their own lives, there’s hardly any time or opportunity for heart-to-heart talks. And romance? Well, if you are a keen observer, you can surely see it fly out of the window!😀

I guess, it’s the latter years which again gives opportunities for rekindling the romance?! After running non-stop being a part of the rat-race, when you finally retire and take a breather, that’s when you look at everything around you afresh, with new eyes. The small gestures and sacrifices which would’ve gone unseen and unappreciated over the years get a second look.Sometimes the enormity of the sacrifices which the partner has had to make – which inevitably in most cases in our society turns out to be the woman, begins to dawn upon you. Or maybe not. You just begin to appreciate your spouse a teeny bit more. It’s also the time when the birds have flew the nest, the children are all grown up and busy running the rat-races of their own lives and don’t have much time and don’t need you any longer (till they have kids of their own, that is!😀 ). You find solace in each other’s company. Further additions to the family in the name of the grandchildren keep you busy and you rediscover the pure unadulterated joy that children can bring to one’s lives. And so it goes on… The lucky ones get to spend these golden times together, the unlucky ones not so.

I guess I’ve generalized a lot in visualising the life-scenes played out above, but most often this, with a few tweaks and side-plots here and there, is the story of our lives😀

Parenthood and the companionship for the latter years of one’s life – these are reasons enough for marriage, according to me. Parenthood is an inexplicable joy – there are people who are single/ married-with-no-kids who are happy doing their own thing in life. Ha ha, we too were happy go-lucky, travelling around and enjoying the various perks of not having kids, for quite some time. But then, once you are a parent there’s no looking back. That one tiny bundle makes all the difference, you wouldn’t want to trade that feeling for anything in the world. It becomes the focus of all your thoughts and energies and deeds. All you want is the well-being and happiness of your child. Heck, we tried doing a couples-only trip for the tenth anniversary, but couldn’t get the little imp out of our thoughts!😀 Sights and sounds and actions and happenings reminded us of him all the time and we missed him badly, while he was having a rocking, rollicking time with cousins at his grandma’s!😛

Having a friend and partner for old age helps one lead a complete, fulfilling life, I believe. We see so many single elders sad and depressed due to lack of company when their world slows down. From the looks of it, the spouse in this case is irreplaceable. It also helps to keep each other busy, active, chirpy and occupied, without causing unnecessary interferences and upsets with the kids’ lives. After all, what can be more satisfying than having your life-long companion by your side as you watch the years pass by, your children grow up, your efforts bear fruit, and you walk together, hand-in-hand into the most gorgeous, brightest sunset of your life?!🙂

And that, is what I wish for us, on this occasion! Happy tenth PK, and here’s looking forward to spending many many more, with you by my side!🙂

 

A week with work-woes and a movie

Have you ever felt the need to get away from work? That you’ve had enough of it and cannot take the same old boring work-routine for even one more day or hour?! I guess, many of us would’ve been parley to such thoughts several times – especially considering the typically stressful work-styles we follow. Last week was one such for me. The work-days-juggernaut was rolling along nicely and I was working on the usual tasks and going about the boring daily work-routine. There was a planned project change implemented on a Thursday and everything looked fine. That night at 2.35 AM I got a call on the mobile from the night-support team. There seemed to be some issue with the implemented code, due to which some files which had to be generated and sent to the downstream partner systems was empty. Within five minutes I was awake and logged in – trying to decipher what could’ve gone wrong. I figured it out soon enough – I had overlooked some accompanying changes which had to be done and the empty file was a result of this miss.😦 Amidst the thoughts of all the music I had to face  on the morrow in office, I was trying to check if there was a quick fix solution to generate that night’s file. I did some fix on the QA environment and drew up plans with the support-team-lead that this problem would require an emergency fix to be implemented on the very next day, before the next day’s file would get generated. I promised them that I would get into office early and work on it as priority.

Daylight was already breaking over the horizon and I thought that it was futile to go back to bed then; I might as well get the cooking etc. done and get ready for work. Accordingly I went about the morning chores and was ready for work at 6 AM, an hour before my regular morning start-time. I coordinated with the early shift cab driver and was in office by 7 AM, before most of the other folks started coming in. The rest of the day went by in a blur – the fix wasn’t as easy as it had initially looked, I had totally missed analysing the code earlier and had to figure out the logic, carry out tests and ensure that it would work seamlessly with the other changes. Added to this was the time constraint – everything had to be done within a couple of hours, the change orders raised and all necessary approvals sought to put it out-of-cycle as an emergency fix.

Phew! Luckily everything worked out well and by the end of the day the changes were in, after taking some help from colleagues. I was pretty jittery that night as well and had couple of calls at around midnight with the support team to ensure that the fix indeed worked and the issue was resolved. As they say, all’s well that ends well! But this episode left me drained – mentally and physically. Probably this too was routine a couple of years back, working late hours on deliveries and overseeing last minute fixes by my team were part and parcel of what I did regularly. In fact I remember doing such releases even when I was pregnant! But now, somehow, I found it very very tiring and stressful; I took almost a week to get over the dreadful feeling and get back to my normal working style. For a couple of days after that, I really did not feel like working at all!

What followed was something rather atypical for me – I decided to take off on a work-day, mid-week and for no reason! I just didn’t feel like going into work and facing another routine work-day😦 I called the hubby and asked told him that he needs to take leave the following day and we would go out – probably catch a movie or just chill doing something else. Poor guy, reacted like a cat caught in the headlights!😀 But he did some juggling around with his meetings and work-stuff and obliged like a dutiful husband😛 The next day I was up and about at the usual time – the plan was, we would finish all chores like everyday, drop off our son at school and go catch a movie at the matinee show. The little fella, clever that he is, was surprised to see me at home – normally I am off to work by the time he wakes up in the morning. He seemed confused – what day is it?, he asked. Is it Saturday? Why aren’t you at work? I won’t go to school! 😮 He was even more suspicious when he saw his dad in non-formal clothes!😀 After side-stepping his tricky questions, we managed to drop him to school and went on our way to watch the movie Neerja.

Neerja is a biographical thriller about Neerja Bhanot, the brave air-hostess who laid down her life in her call of duty. Her efforts thwarted the hijacking attempt of the Pan AM flight in Karachi on 5th Sept 1986 – she prevented the flight from taking off by having the presence of mind to inform the pilots in time for them to flee the plane. Her heroism and calm, cool-headed handling of the dire situation resulted in 360 hostages being saved from the hijackers’ hold. Instead of trying to save herself, she chose to save the lives of hundreds of passengers, showing immense courage and strength of character. The film was motivational and an example of how ‘work is worship‘ for several people – like our brethren from the armed forces and others like Neerja.

I wasn’t too impressed by Sonam’s portrayal as Neerja – she seems more suited and at ease with roles like the one in Khoobsoorat; but the scene-stealer was definitely Shabana Azmi. The feelings of what a child’s loss means for a mother, couldn’t have been brought to life more poignantly by anyone else. She is outstanding, especially in the last scene and one cannot but leave the theatre with misty eyes and a lump in the throat!

After the movie, we grabbed some lunch and walked the shopping streets leisurely – doing more looking-into-windows than actual shopping; but happy to have the road to ourselves sans the crowds, thanks to it being a weekday. And just like that, the little get-away was over!😦 Soon, it was time to go back – to be faithful to our line of duty, on the home-front and to get ready for the challenges of the work-day on the morrow. I felt much better the next day at office and am now back peering into the laptop screen and trying to tame/ slay the usual work-demons! These little, especially mid-week jaunts, do a world of good, I tell ya!😀

Talk of the Frangipani and the lure of firang-lands

Hellooo, I say ** and wait for the echoes to come back to me** ‘coz obviously there aren’t any readers here any more!😀
Before I change my mind and think that it’s too much effort to type out a post, let me get on with what I have to say.

Firstly, I am thrilled that the very first flowers on my ‘Frangipani‘ plant have bloomed and there are many more buds ready to burst-forth!😀 I’ve always wanted to have this plant (also called the “temple tree” as someone mentioned) in my home, mainly for it’s heavenly fragrance and the flowers themselves, which are so beautiful with their velvety shaded petals. And I was particular that I wanted this variety which had the smaller yellow flowers – not the pink ones or the long-petal-ed white ones! The gardener who got the plant for us must’ve prayed, and prayed hard – I’d threatened him of dire consequences if it turned out to be of any other variety! Did I already mention that I am thrilled?!!😀

Sometimes I go back to my old blog posts and read what I’d written. Sometimes I flinch, but those occasions aren’t many – mostly I am left wondering if I indeed wrote all that at some point in time. I seemed to have so much to say! An opinion on everything, I’d find topics to write about so easily. Books that I read, movies I watched, trips that I went on, the everyday happenings, the events unfolding around the world – sporting and otherwise; I seemed to be so “tuned in”. These days if I think of writing something, I feel “zoned out”; like it is so much of an effort. It’s like I have this a sudden urge to write – something, anything! But most often I’m unable to type out a post at a stretch and later in the day I am back in the seemingly thought-less void!

Nevertheless to get on with the post, amongst other everyday happenings we managed to catch a night show of the movie “Airlift” recently. We liked the movie – although it is not an exact representation, it is a take of the events that unfolded in Kuwait in the early 90s and how a couple of individuals and the Indian government came to the rescue of the 1.7 lakh Indian refugees who were holed up at Kuwait after the Iraqi attack. Akshay Kumar‘s character is based on the lives of two businessmen whose almost heroic efforts were instrumental in getting these people back home during the crisis situation. I especially loved the role played by the seemingly inconsequential Joint Secretary in the External Affairs ministry; all said and done he had a major role to play in getting the Indian govt. to act! At the end of the movie as they flashed the statistics of it being the single biggest airlift operation in the world – with Indian Airlines flying in nearly 490 flights over 50 days to evacuate all those people, I had goosebumps and my heart swelled with pride! The movie brought a lump to my throat, a similar memory I have is from my school days when we’d watched Border – the story of how a few dozen men fought the fierce battle at the border to wrench control from enemies, for the country’s sake; not caring for their lives or their families.

When I look at friends and aquaintances and hear of them flying away to far-off lands in search of better opportunities and a better lifestyle, I wonder. As it happens, most often, once you go and start living elsewhere, especially when it offers a more conducive atmosphere for your work and life, doesn’t it become more and more difficult to get back to the homeland knowing the harsh realities that await you here? When we as adults find it so difficult to adjust, just spare a thought for the young kids who’re bundled off, who’ve never seen anything of the kind to be even prepared for! No doubt the foreign shores have much to offer but does it outweigh the feeling of being at one’s home, amongst family and friends? And what about these external factors on which one doesn’t have control – like the harsh weather extremities or the insurgent revolts or the terrible terror attacks? One has to be ready to sign up for all these too, along with all the niceties, isn’t it? Of course, there’s no guarantee that one’s own country is free from all these – but doesn’t it make sense to have one’s family, friends and support systems firmly around, to face such difficulties?

January also saw me making a quick trip to Kerala to attend a friend and ex-colleague’s wedding, with family and another colleague’s family in tow. The wedding itself held at the famous temple premises in the town of Guruvayur was a quickie and we spent some time exploring the surrounding attractions. The said collegue has already flown away from her nest, to settle in the hinterlands of Amreeka. Sigh! One can’t help but feel for her aging parents – who of course were thrilled to see her getting married! But how about being around when they need you the most in their sunset years?

Guess, it’s a very debatable topic. I, for one, have always believed and will continue to believe that with all it’s flaws and fantasies, India is the place to be, for me. There’s nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing that is really worthwhile enough, to leave and head away from here! India – with her myriad extremes is truly incredible – while there is beauties galore, there are several beasts one has to battle with too. But as I mentioned, at the end of the day, it’s home!🙂

August chronicles

Well, we’re almost into the last quarter of the year – September is here and brings in it’s wake the festival season. As I’ve mentioned several times before, I find this part of the year to be the busiest and also the days just seem to whizz by in a blur. It begins with the sonny boy’s birthday in August and then there are the numerous festivals – amidst all this are also the school events like fancy dress and sports day and school day and the day-care dance programs, the annual holiday with friends, so on and so forth…

Speaking of holidays, this year the fun began much earlier. First week of August I went on a trip with my girlfriends to Pondicherry!😀 Though we’d been planning a trip like this for ages, it had never really materialized. But this time we just decided on the spot and what mattered was that we immediately did the bookings too. Once the dates were finalized sometime in June end/ July, within two days we booked the stay and the train tickets! I guess it helped that there wasn’t much time to dilly-dally and re-think which is why we actually went on the trip. Oh, it was awesome to say the least!🙂 We are a bunch of 4 girls from college and it was like good old times once again; with the hubbies and kiddos left behind we had a gala time on our own!😀 We dressed up like girls and not mommies and went about the town, taking in the sights and the experiences. We played with gay abandon in the beach and took selfies-galore!😀 We sampled the French delicacies and did a bit of shopping too – though we found that the shopping opportunities weren’t quite what we were expecting😦

Pondicherry climate-wise was a very hot and humid place but is a very clean and well-maintained town. We loved walking the streets of the French quarter and strolling by the Promenade, but the famous Auroville was a little too hyped we thought. Though the environs and ambience, the history associated with the place and Maitri mandir were good, it was rather disappointing that we couldn’t even get close to the mandir let alone getting inside and that too after walking a kilometer in the scorching afternoon son😦 Nevertheless it was one unforgettable trip – starting with the train rides to the hotel stay – we stayed at a quaint little place called Hotel du’Parc which was in the heart of the town, we enjoyed it all thoroughly – the 500 odd photos that we took tell the story all too well!😀 We hope that this is just the beginning and are already geared up for many more!😉

August is also the kiddo’s birthday month and he turned 5 this year! And this was going to be his first birthday in the new home – we wanted to invite all the locality kids and make it special. I had taken the day off but it turned out to be one hectic day, what with having to drop the kiddo off at school and rushing back to whip up the cake and other stuff for the evening party. I did manage to get things in order in time, with some help from my mom and we were all set for the evening. And then the kids descended! There were a good 15-20 of them and boy, were they a boisterous lot! They literally brought down the roof, what with their kabaddi games and general chatter. It was quite a task to get them in order, but soon we had the other guests including the kiddo’s cousins and we were all set to cut the cake. The cake was cut amidst the kids singing the longest happy birthday song I’ve ever heard, with all funny rejoinders like “you were born in a zoo” and “you will turn 62“!!😀

They then settled down to eat and again, I found that we had underestimated the kids’ appetite! They happily gobbled down the cake and chips, the mini-puffs, chocolates, juice and jamuns and wanted some more! In fact they all loved the cake so much that they were demanding seconds, which I had to sadly deny as I hadn’t made a very big cake😦 Also at the husband’s cue they all chorused loudly and said “thank you aunty for the delicious cake“! how sweet is that?🙂 But we compensated with some tangy vangibath and cool mosaranna and they loved that too! Happily satiated they then bid their goodbyes having collected their return gifts – I’d got some paints and pen-pencils for them – and the sudden silence after all the melee was bewildering! But we still had the family and it was quite late before the celebrations were done. Thus another birthday month went by and it seems the kiddo just keeps piling on the years so quickly!😦
And since we’ve never had a family get-together for his birthday after the grand first year celebration, we thought this was a good opportunity to invite the extended family to our new home. So the celebrations spilled over to the weekend when we had all the uncles and aunts over for an elaborate catered lunch and where S cut one more cake made by his amma! I had some whipped cream left over and decided to make another chocolate cake – which incidentally turned out better than the first one and was proclaimed as finger-lickin’ good! *preening with the pat on the back*!😀

I carried over the enthusiasm from August into September, since this happens to be my birthday month! With the expectation set very high from last year (which involved a pair of surprise diamond earrings from the hubby! *speechless*) I was hoping to spend it amidst my loved ones, and spend the Sunday outdoors with some shopping and eating-out thrown in. I wasn’t hoping for any more costly surprise gifts – my gut sent me enough warnings that miracles don’t happen often!😉 Unfortunately things didn’t quite work out that way – other chores and commitments took priority and my birthday became the side-affair on the day😦 with no gifts to soothe my hurt sentiments (except the sweet sis who got me a lovely chain *muah*) I was a angry sulking mess by the end of the evening. To make matters worse, I got on to the high horse and took off on my own, saying I don’t need anybody to celebrate my birthday and got caught and completely drenched in the rain!😦 Needless to say, it won’t be a birthday that I’ll remember fondly ever! The hubby did get an earful next day that no matter what the circumstances are, he needs to remember to make an effort to make me feel special on two days in the year – the birthday and the anniversary. He can do what he wants on the other 363 days, I stated emphatically! I just hope the sting from the dressing-down stays with him and I get to some difference next year!:/

Now the days are rolling by as we approach the next big occasion – the Gowri and Ganesha festival celebrations. Again, this will be a first at our new home and I hope that we will be able to complete all the traditional formalities with fervour and enthusiasm and have a happy festival-time and experience overall! I hope to be back with more updates next month!🙂

Of home and hearth…

Hiya, I’m back on one of my quarterly visits to the blog!😀 I know, I’m not even going to pretend otherwise!
What prompted me to write here today? – it was when I saw the link to my blog under favourites on Smitha’s space! Wow, I didn’t think anybody still followed my irregular random posts, which seem to revolve only around my son and his yearly birthdays!!

Anyway, a lot has happened since the last time I wrote here. We moved into our new home, a couple of months ago. Technically speaking it has been a good 2+ months but like I tell anybody who cares to ask – we’re still “settling in“! I don’t know… I suppose it’s rather difficult to capture the “when” that a house transforms into a home or the “how” either… when I look at our house today I see a lot of small niggly things that stare at me right back in the face – it’s just got to do with me I know, but I feel these small probably-insignificant-in-the-bigger-scheme-of-things are essential to make it into a home. And that process I know will take many more months.We are getting a lot of stuff still done – there’s probably not a single weekend that we’ve been free; small not-very-evident but nevertheless important stuff, which involves time and effort and money… so I suppose we just have to go with the flow and take it slowly. But the nagging thought that rears its head from time to time is – “but what if it takes so long that the house no longer seems new?!” Well, it really shouldn’t matter to anybody but us, isn’t it? It will be our “home” then! I guess, I sound as clear as mud – that’s the state of thoughts in my head too!😀
Continuing with our efforts of turning it into a homely place, we got in touch with a gardener and got several plants planted around the house. Though we don’t have a huge garden space to boast of, we had left few patches of land at the front and by the walk-way, hoping to have some greenery. I’ve selected a bunch of different saplings – flowering ones mainly and I’m crossing my fingers that they will all get successfully adjusted to the environs and grow into our healthy green-companions!

In other news, the little one is growing up fast as usual and is already starting cursive writing and dictation at school!😮 There’s not a day without homework and just the thought of his next years with multiple books of homework in different languages and math is giving me the jitters right-away😦 He is in his ‘taane‘ phase right now, where every sentence or question of his is suffixed with a ‘taane‘ which I guess in English would translate into tagging-on a ‘isn’t it?‘ to every line that comes out of his mouth! He is doing pretty well at school – the first PTA happened and his teacher said that he is a shy but intelligent, smart child – basically well behaved. His love for drawing and colouring continues and here are some peeks into the latest flights of his imagination.

A very like-to-like representation of the Channapatna Giraffe we have at home

A very like-to-like representation of the Channapatna Giraffe we have at home

That's Chota Bheem turned into a girl, watching the aeroplane fly!

That’s Chota Bheem turned into a girl, watching the aeroplane fly!

Drawn looking at a Dora pic in his book - he improvised with a hat as her wasn't easy to draw! :D

Drawn looking at a Dora pic in his book – he improvised with a hat as her hair wasn’t easy to draw!😀

Drawn by looking at a double-decker red toy bus he has

Drawn by looking at his double-decker red toy-bus

The Chota Bheem characters - Dholu, Bholu, Raju and Indumati

The Chota Bheem characters – Dholu, Bholu, Raju and Indumati standing at a traffic light

We took him to watch the Jurassic World movie in 3D recently, which was his only second movie outing after Big Hero-6 and he spoke non-stop at the theatre too! During the first half it was all about – “when do we get the popcorn?” and in the second half the drone was – “when will the movie end?!!” And all the time he was meddling with the 3D glasses or kicking the front seats or popping up and down in his seat, with the constant chattering as background score. And then, when the movie got really interesting towards the end (the first-half was pretty boring with hardly any action, if you ask me!) he started crying, getting scared with all the giant T-Rex fights!! Phew! I had to cover his eyes with my hands while shush-ing his cries and soothing his nerves; all the while trying to balance my own over-sized glasses and trying not to miss the action myself! It sure must’ve been a hilarious sight if anyone was looking! And he wouldn’t stop talking between sobs either – he was like, ‘from next time onwards don’t take me to monster movies, let’s go to some nice movies like the Baymax ones!!’ LOL!😀 So much for carefully planning and taking him to a movie which we thought he’ll enjoy! **eye-roll**

I’m trying to teach him a song for the singing competition they have in school this month-end and it isn’t progressing too well – albeit it really is kinda cute to hear him try to say those difficult Kannada words and get it all wrong!😛 The theme is Kannada Folk songs and I’ve chosen a poem which I remember from my school days… let’s see how it goes! I’ll try to record and upload a clipping here if he does manage to learn the lines and recite!🙂

In other news, all my craft-work and reading has taken a back-seat which really makes me sad – especially since I now have a space of my own in the new house, a small little library with a custom book shelf and a craft/work-table. But the problem is with it being located on the uppermost floor space of the house – by the time I finish all my daily chores and climb upstairs it’s typically time to go to bed, with the thoughts of having to rise early the next morning😦 And weekends too are spent dusting/ cleaning/ tidying-up/ cooking or going out on errands. These are merely excuses and everybody only has 24 hours and it’s upto us to “make time” for things we want to do… I know all this too well, but haven’t really been able to find a balance. I hope to get there one day and hopefully revive my knitting and reading habits! On that hopeful thought, I will end this post…

Tales of the little-big boy

It has been quite sometime since I wrote about the little big boy in our house. He’s gonna be five this year… f-i-v-e! just imagine that! I think he’s growing up too fast for my liking! I miss his baby and toddler antics already😦

Our sonny-boy just completed his lower kindergarten and is all set to enter the upper KG this summer! His two years at school have been good, but the reports quite contrasting. While he was the teachers’ darling in nursery with both his ma’am’s having a special soft corner for him, being one of the youngest in class; his LKG teachers have a different story to tell. Mid-way through the year we were told that he is quite naughty in class and is most often seen talking and dragging his neighbouring kids into discussions while the class is going on! My heart had sunk when I heard that and I had visions of him turning out into one of those naughty-always-talkative boys in class who’s name figures on the top of every list that the class leader makes! (this memory is from my school days, I’m not sure if they even do this now, for all I know today’s kids might laugh at the idea!!). One encouraging info the teacher had volunteered then was that he was always quick at the tasks assigned and would get around to talking only after finishing his work! A glimmer of hope, I thought!

Cut to the year-end meeting, this time the feedback was more positive with complaints being that he doesn’t seem interested or fascinated by any new concepts taught in class! Their guess was that it could be because he already knows them! Which I think translates into a pat-on-the-back for us parents! His naughtiness hasn’t diminished they said and what’s more he has learnt to tag kids names with titles that the teachers use! For e.g if the ma’am calls somebody talkative, he quickly nick-names them as talkative so-&-so!! But it all seemed to be in good humour and the teachers seemed happy with his academic progress, so that’s good news we heaved a sign of relief!

Also while we were waiting, I saw a beautifully coloured drawing pinned up on the class board. I asked S to know who had drawn and coloured the picture. First he said “I don’t know” and then said “me”. I dismissed him thinking he’s fooling around and telling stories. When we met his teacher she reconfirmed that it was indeed drawn by him and coloured with some help from them! I was incredulous! And what’s more she said that it was chosen to be used as the pic to be printed on the
back-page of all the notebooks! To say that we were thrilled is an understatement! She had a story to relate for that too – a child was chosen from each class to draw the picture and colour it and it was S chosen from his class. When he did it the first time, she saw that it wasn’t all that good. Knowing that he was good at drawing and capable of doing much better she asked him to draw again. But his royal highness was already bored!😮 And he was more interested in doing what the other kids were doing in class. So then she took him aside and explained the significance behind it and that it would be printed on the books and coaxed him to try again. Then all the chosen kids were taken to the principal’s room to add more drama to the situation, that’s where they did the actual drawing! Phew! But with all the fee-paying and enquiries, we forgot to check the books, and later when we checked we found that the drawing wasn’t printed on the text books. On checking with the co-ordinator we were told that it would be printed on notebooks which will be given in class later. And amidst all that, we excited but stupid parents forgot to even click a pic of the drawing on our mobile phones! Well, in our defence we did ask the co-ordinator to keep aside a notebook sample for us😦

As you’ve already gathered with all the rambling above, S is very interested in drawing and colouring activities. And he’s not satisfied just colouring ready-made printed pics in books. No sire, he needs to have the drawing replicated in his “diary-book” and then he has to colour it. On many occasions he tries to do that himself, but atleast once a day he gets into this sonorous whining mode that he can’t do it and so he wants me or his appa to do it for him! Oh the agony of replicating intricate drawings, you have to ask a harried parent like us! And that’s not it, the drawing reproduced should adhere to his strict guidelines in look and feel, shouldn’t be too small or too big, with constant drones of it has to be like-this-only and like-that-only! phew!

But when he chooses to draw of his own will, those are the best ones. I just love to see his imagination take flight and the fascinating thought behind his drawings🙂 Here’s a sample of some he drew recently.

N_pics

The words are Net, Nest, Nut and Not. Not is depicted by a girl shaking her head to say No, and she’s wearing a butterfly clip!😀

A_pics

A is for Alligator, Apple, Ant and (Hot)Air Balloon

M_pics

M is for Monkey, Mango, Melt and Mum🙂

He just picked up the book on a whim and when I explained what he was supposed to draw he came up with the objects and drawings himself. The spellings are his own interpretation too! I was a besotted mother and wanted to preserve this moment forever, and hence didn’t bother to correct them!😛 Any guesses on which is my favourite? the “mum” one of course!😀 That one he didn’t tell me before he drew and I saw it only when I opened the page to click a pic. I was grinning from ear-to-ear and lost no time in sharing the masterpieces with friends and family on my whatsapp list!😀

Another heartwarming milestone I wanted to capture here is his new-found love for words! yay! yay! yay!😀 He’s totally into reading words and reciting spellings – off every source that he finds – be it books, newspapers, pamphlets, ads on TV, carton box labels etc. He is also making attempts at reading words and sentences in his story books which fills me with such joy! I just hope that his love for words continues and his excitement on having and reading new books grows multi fold in the coming years – then I’d feel that the efforts I’ve taken to make him acquainted with books from a young age (he was all of 3 months when I first read him his picture book!) would’ve borne fruit!🙂

Aside from the above, he talks nineteen to the dozen as always and asks a gazillion questions all the time. He still plays a lot with his building blocks and puzzles and numerous cars and planes. He has become more demanding for TV time – though we have restricted it to only weekend-viewing of a few hours of cartoon, but he does watch unwanted ads and serials when we have our parents over or when we’re following cricket on TV. He has also been introduced now to the luring delights of an iPad thanks to his appa’s office people who’ve forced it into our lives😡 But so far, it is being used only to show him bedtime stories and cartoon videos sometimes, and I am adamant to keep it that way. As we’ve observed and as also pointed out by his teachers, he is very sharp in picking up new stuff and has good grasping power. Sometimes this doesn’t work to our advantage – like his return van trip from school to his day-care takes all of 5-7 mins but within that short time he’s exposed to the evils of radio FM music and has picked up all the latest Kannada numbers – the tunes of which are catchy but the lyrics spouted are trash! He can recognize these from the back seat, on the car radio even if the volume is totally low; while his aghast mom can only splutter what? where? how?:-/

Well as my husband never fails to remind me, I guess I can’t keep him protected under my watchful eyes and wings always and he needs to be exposed to the ways and vagaries of the world too. According to the hubby, S not only needs to grow up to be “smart”, but also needs to be “street-smart”! Well, we can only wait and watch him grow, while we do our best to teach him the good always! And I am but an enchanted mother, who is still smitten by the antics of her thoughtful and kind little one, who never fails to declare in his sweetest kiddy voice everyday – ‘I love you, amma‘! I love you too kanda and will do so till eternity! :-*