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! 🙂

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Dream come true!

There are few instances in life that one can actually call a ‘dream come true’ moment. The kind, may be when you land a job at your dream workplace? or get a seat at a top-notch university that you coveted and worked hard for? or hold a much loved and wished-for new-born baby girl/ boy in hand after 9 months of nourishment in the womb.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

We had one such ‘dream-come-true moment’ last week when we stepped into our very own newly built home on the auspicious occasion of the gruhapravesha, in the valley alongside a small hillock in our beloved city of Bangalore! 🙂

I don’t clearly remember when exactly it was that this became our dream… may be after 2-3 years of being a happily married and carefree couple with no real responsibilities on our shoulders. That must’ve been around the time when we saw friends and family making investments and buying/ building their homes to settle down and a seed was sown in a corner of our minds that we’d like to have a nest of our own too.

We were on the look-out for houses/ plots/ flats from then-on but never really seriously got around to buying anything. Mainly because we were confused – we wanted an independent house but the ones we saw were way beyond budget and more so, needed repairs and renovation to suit our needs. Only a flat would fit into our budget, but we weren’t very keen and also couldn’t find good ones in the localities we were looking in. The plots in the city had sky-rocketing prices and the affordable ones were a good 10-15 kms in the outskirts…nothing seemed to fall in place.

It was around 5 years back that the hubby came across this layout while he was on one of his site-scouring trips on the bike. He mentioned it to me and it sounded promising. We went around soon enough and I was excited, this looked like the place for us! It was well within the city and what’s more, very near and well connected to all the localities that we’d normally traverse regularly; most importantly it would be close to his mom’s place for the hubby. It was just 10 mins ride away from our present much-loved locality of stay. One wouldn’t have to travel for hours daily along the A/ B/ C roads in Bangalore to reach the place. It was a locality inhabited and maintained by decent, well-cultured families. The layout was on a small hillock and just riding-up one could feel the dip in temperature with a cool breeze to caress, with a panoramic view of the entire city. And what’s more, the cost – although it would require us to stretch a bit, wouldn’t be beyond what we could afford!

The cons were – the approach roads weren’t all that wide as it was through a locality which was previously a village and had been converted into layouts without any planning. There was no Cauvery water supply piping yet, although it had reached the neighbouring locality down the hillock – we would have to depend on the layout’s water supply till that fell into place. The pros seemed to outweigh the cons and our minds were made-up and we initiated the discussions to buy a site in the layout. There were many months of tense waiting and the hubby did the rounds of several BBMP and government offices to make sure that the titles and papers were all in the clear. With the number of scams tumbling out of the govt. closets these days, we didn’t want our life savings to go down the drain!

After much running around, finally everything was sorted and we were ready to sign on the dotted line and after spending a tiring morning at the registrar’s office the house papers were in our hands. Or the bank’s hands rather, as we’d taken a combined plot+construction loan to be able to invest. Nevertheless we were thrilled with our very own piece of land, on which we dreamt looking fondly into the future, that our home would stand one fine day. For a couple of years after that we lay low, paying the EMIs and getting on with life… and soon we got busy with our bundle of joy who arrived to further add to our happiness. Soon enough as the months rolled by, we realized that we had to begin the construction – as the combined loan requires one to begin construction within a stipulated time period after the loan is taken.

Then began the exercise of trying to find the right contractor/ engineer/ architect who could translate our dreams into reality. We visited some architecture firms, spoke to many contractors, got the design done by some contractors, who’d also design homes, considered the option of going in for alternate construction methods, had various debates on what was good and what was not, visited several under-construction houses to check if we liked something… this went on for some months. One such day we walked into a house nearing completion of construction in one of the cross-roads of our locality and immediately fell in love with the way it was designed. It was spacious and well-thought-out with lot of importance given to good-lighting and ventilation. That was what we primarily wanted in our house – it had to be well-lit and well-ventilated giving us a sense of wide spaces throughout in all the rooms. We quickly got the contact details of the architect and got in touch – it was a lady, freelance architect who was just getting back into her working groove with a young daughter on hand.

We fixed up an appointment and went to speak to her; we told her our needs and looked at pictures of some of her previous assignments. She frankly told us that she took up few projects and only with people whom she felt comfortable with; one – because of her young daughter and secondly because she would be involved in every stage of the construction right till we moved into the house. Her job wouldn’t end with just handing over the design drawings and so her rates weren’t cheap either. We contemplated and said ok and she came up with the design of our home. It was exhilarating going through that design with her – seeing our needs being transformed into nooks and corners of the various rooms in the house. As with all her designs there was scope for ample light and air and the house would be crowned by a huge skylight! We loved the design and said yes; of course it had to go through many refinements with various sittings and rounds of discussions later.

Thereafter came the choice of the contractor – we spoke to one of our liking and another recommended by her, but the rates quoted were too high for our budget we thought – which in hindsight was probably a mistake, we feel at times, but nevertheless we decided not to choose either. Around the same time, my sister’s family were planning the construction of their home, for which they had approached my engineer uncle to handle everything – right from the design to the planning and construction. We decided to talk to him also to check if he could supervise the construction for the design we’d already gotten from the architect. Our uncle said yes, mainly because both the houses would be fairly close-by on the same side of town, only a few kms apart, but with the condition that he would hire a maestri to oversee the daily work and we would have to do all coordination for the materials purchases and payments etc. This way he wouldn’t be involved in the financial aspect of the construction and would only serve as the facilitator for getting the construction done. We agreed to it, knowing that it wouldn’t be easy for us – full-time working individuals with a small child to manage all this, but atleast this way we’d be able to significantly control the cost we reasoned.

And thus began the saga of the house construction which went on for a good year and a half. There were many highs and many lows… lets suffice to say that we were involved with every single aspect as the house came up through the various stages right from the foundation to getting the loads of sand and cement, from the laying of the bricks & concrete to the roofing and plastering as the structure came up in a matter of months. But then began the various travails – as more parties got involved and when we had to do the various selections, the co-ordination and the involvement and decisions increased multifold. The architect gave us good options, but since we were literally doing lot of research to get the best suited products at as less cost as possible, the decisions were very difficult. The flooring selection took ages after lot of dilly-dallying and we rushed to place the order for the sanitary-ware as there were rumours that the prices would shoot up post the festival season. We ran around for the tiles and when it came to choosing the carpenters we had more worries evaluating the options. Whatever we chose had to go through 2 level of approvals – one with the architect and then by the various working-teams for feasibility.

There were tons of arguments and heated discussions and we got to the point of going crazy with the confusion and issues we faced sometimes, the hubby having to deal with most of it. Taking the painting, carpentry and flooring work to a point of logical conclusion before the pooja can be a story by itself! The hubby was on-site getting last-minute stuff and cleaning done till 11 PM on the eve of the pooja. Well, at the end of it, we do have a beautiful home to go to, as every single person gushed on the d-day. But the stress and heart-burn we went through was something we could have done without. In hindsight sometimes we do feel that having a contractor would’ve probably saved us most of this trouble, but then we wouldn’t have been so much richer in experience! 😀

All said and done, we’re nearly at the end of this journey of building a home from scratch – there still are minor things to be fixed and completed and it will be sometime before we can actually move in.

The courtyard leading to our hearts!

The courtyard leading to our hearts!

And then it will be a whole new journey altogether, with the excitement of setting up everything afresh; but more importantly of filling our home and hearts with enough love and joy, to envelop us and all our loved ones in it’s folds of warmth 🙂 And that feeling is aptly described by the name we have chosen for our nest! Wish us luck, won’t you?! 🙂

The first movie experience

Last Friday was a landmark day – it marked one of the ‘firsts’ for our little one. It was his first time watching a movie in the theatre! 😀 Now, many people might argue that 4 years and 2.5 months is too early or too late, but lets just suffice to say that this is what I wanted for my son. My criteria was simple – he had to be at an age where he would understand what happens around him and on screen. Also importantly a child who would listen to when told to be quiet without causing a nuisance to the others around. And I wanted his first movie to be a kiddies movie – one he would be excited to watch on big screen and identify/ relate with a book or story reference. So till last year I wasn’t too keen on taking him to a theatre – if that meant total drought on the movie-watching front for me and the hubby, then so be it! Though there have been some good watchable kids movies this year, I’ve been at fault for not having planned this outing earlier. What caused this sudden plan was an episode from a couple of days earlier.

It was one of those extended holiday weeks and the hubby’s entire family had congregated at the in laws’ place. On that Saturday when it poured cats and dogs in Bangalore and put a damp blanket on all plans for the weekend, the hubby came home and declared that 8 tickets had been booked for the evening show of ‘Happy New Year’ at a nearby mall and the family was gonna watch it together. For all the afore-mentioned reasons, I was irritated and determined that I wouldn’t let somebody else take this simple decision out of my hands. I flatly said no. The hubby was right – the kiddo would definitely have loads of fun playing around with his boisterous cousins, but then this would be his first movie experience – which is not how I wanted it to be. And with due respect to Farah Khan, HNY was not the kind of movie I wanted him to be watching! This resulted in a row between us and I was all the more non-plussed that somebody else’s decision to book tickets in bulk was causing this argument amongst us! :-/ Poor hubby, I cannot blame him – it has been ages since he had a day out watching a movie and he was right in a way… I told him unconvincingly that he could go with his son, but I wouldn’t be coming. Of course, that didn’t happen and we didn’t watch the movie.

That very day I decided, the next decent kids movie that hits the theatres, 3D or not, we’d go to that. You see, another reason for not having taken the kid along earlier was because any kids’ movie that releases these days is in 3D. And my previous experience watching a 3D movie with those glasses hasn’t been great – I ended up with a terrible headache! But this time, thankfully all the ifs and buts were put to rest. I checked out the movies playing on Friday afternoon and saw that there was the Disney movie ‘Big Hero 6’ playing in many theatres. I didn’t have much background, I just read a few reviews and found that it wasn’t bad – it was about a genius kid dabbling in robotics and his escapades with a robot called Baymax. Since I was at work, I couldn’t watch any trailers. I called the hubby and told him about the plan – he checked the trailers online and said yes, it looks good, we can go. I was excited! 😀

That evening I reached home only to see the hubby going about the daily chores in his pajamas nonchalantly! I was like – aren’t we going?! He asks – where to?! *Face-palm moment*! I patiently explained to him that I had meant for us to go that evening, as pushing it to the weekend might result in cancellation as is wont to happen mostly often. We dilly-dallied with the decision a few times and when we had just enough time to rush to the theatre on a two-wheeler, we said – ok, lets go! The bewildered kid was grabbed and soon bundled into layers of jackets and warm clothes and was told to wait for a surprise. We rushed to the mall in time, to grab tickets and get into the movie-screening hall. The kiddo was suitably surprised and was asking questions nineteen to the dozen – where are we? theatre! why are we here? – to watch a movie! what is a movie? – explanation follows! why are there so many chairs? – for people to sit and watch on the big screen! what will come on screen? – it’s like the TV at home, only much much bigger. Is S-akka here? (his S-akka stays close by and is a regular visitor to the mall) No, not now, but this was the place she went to the other day when he was whisked away amidst wails… and so on

We soon settled down with a popcorn bag and 3D glasses – a smaller cute one for the kiddo. It was a blessing in disguise that I didn’t go in expecting more, I loved the movie! The robotics angle appealed to my geeky side and Baymax, the cuddly healthcare companion robot stole my heart! 😀 As for the kiddo – the first half was spent digging his fingers into the popcorn bag and only asking questions about why the characters weren’t coming close to him! (that was the reason given by his dad for having to wear the glasses and he took it literally so!) He did watch the second half more interestedly and enjoyed Hiro and Baymax’s adventures till the end. So all in all, it was one happy amma and kanda who came home on that cold Friday night, with jokes being cracked about appa being the Baymax in the house in his white-banian avatar, what with the pot-belly et al! 😀

Birthday and surprises

April is a relatively busy month for me – we celebrate the hubby’s birthday and our anniversary, they being just a week apart. I am the sort of person who doesn’t believe in or get excited at the prospect of cooking traditional sweets or new dishes, but somehow when it comes to my loved ones I find this sudden rush of enthusiasm to make everything by hand. So normally around this time and also during my son’s birthday I try out recipes, excitedly and revel in the aftermath of glowing praise if they turn out to be a success. But you will never catch me doing so for my birthday – I believe birthdays need to be made special not by ourselves, but by the loved ones around us! 😀

The hubby’s birthday was no different and I did some elaborate planning well in advance. It helped that he was going to be out of town on work on the preceding two days. I had decided to make a cake (using the available mixes for cooker-made cakes; I don’t yet own a convection over that will help me bake cakes from scratch – it is something I hope to own sometime soon and I hope my enthusiasm to bake stays till such time that I own it!) and this time I decided to try and make the frosting for it too. That saw me hurriedly scouting the shops for essential ingredients on the previous day. As is my wont I decided to try out one of the many internet recipes for easy, quick to make sweets that I have collected over the years and chose the ‘Mango peda’ – all it needed was a can of condensed milk which I bought and pulpy ripe mangoes which we thankfully had a stock of at home. I made the sweet two days in advance and made the cake and frosting on the preceding evening – just in time before the hubby walked into the home. Having my mother come over to help manage the kiddo, I sought her assistance in making ‘Bisi bele bath’ – one of the hubby’s favourite dishes. This way the culinary aspects were made special enough, I thought.

On the gifting part I had pretty much made up my mind several weeks ago to get a collage made with all photos of the hubby and the little one, right from the time of his birth. I painstakingly scoured all the photo archives in the hard disks and chose the photos well in advance. I had inquired at various shops – physical and online, to check out the prices to have a collage framed/ canvas-mounted and had worked out the most reasonable option, as I was sure it wasn’t something worth splurging high amounts for. Having ordered the photo online and gotten it after some anxious moments of the courier guy coming over to the office and having had to go back it being a long weekend of holidays; I had given it for lamination/ framing and collected it too on the previous evening.

As if picking up and packing the gift on the previous evening after work, along with the already aforementioned task of frosting the cake was not enough for last minute action, I decided the sonny boy was old enough now to make a card for his dad. Imagine the joy of receiving the very first hand-made card from your little one – I wanted the hubby to have that too! 🙂 I also picked up craft paper on the way back home and spent a frenzied hair-pulling hour with my son, trying to get him to draw and colour and write ‘Happy Birthday‘ straight! 😀 After much fussing and some tears on choosing which Winnie – the Poo stickers to decorate with, the card was made and ready.

I think I had told the kiddo a dozen times already that it was to be a surprise and he shouldn’t be telling his appa anything, but the moment the hubby walked in, as if on cue, he blurted out saying ‘amma cake madiddale!‘ and when I admonished him in a whisper he defensively cried saying – ‘cake madiya anta ashte heliddu, surprise ide anta helalilla‘! :p Though during the later part of the evening he did give away the secret that there was to be a surprise, thankfully he didn’t spell out what it was to be! 🙂

The card and collage were handed over sometime before the midnight hour as it was the kiddo’s sleep time and I didn’t want him to miss out on the fun and the sweets and cake were sampled on the d-day. Though the reaction wasn’t as profusely expressed as was expected (we wives never do learn to keep our expectations low, do we?! 😉 ), there was a deep sense of accomplishment of having made the day special for my loved one. And the icing was the fact that the sweet and the effort was very well appreciated by other friends, colleagues and family members, with some of them going to the extent of saying that the sweet was too good to be called homemade and tasted just like store-bought ones! If nothing else, that compliment surely made my day! 😉

Shivanasamudra

The mood in the house has been sombre and we have been caught up with running chores and errands almost every weekend. Friday happened to be our kiddo’s star birthday and I had decided to take this day off from work to spend some time with him – especially since on his actual birthday later in the week, he would be at school. Albeit some pressures and discussions at work, I did manage to take off and so did the hubby and we decided to drive down to Mysore. This Mysore trip again was on the cards for a long time now, where we wanted to take the kiddo to the zoo to see the animals and also the Brindavan gardens. We thought this was the right opportunity, especially since it was a weekend dedicated to celebrating having him in our lives!

We started on Thursday morning and took the Kanakpura – Mavalli route, since we had decided to visit Shivanasamudra waterfalls on the way to Mysore. The roads were in good condition and the views scenic and by mid-day we were at the site of the waterfall. we went to the first view point for the waterfall and spent sometime taking in the beauty of the roaring cascade of water. The little one had a good time gushing over the waterfall and pointing to the monkeys around and posing for photographs. I had taught him the names and he in his super-sweet kiddish but clear voice kept repeating Ga-ga-na-chukki and Bhara-chukki all the time 🙂

The Gaganachukki waterfall

The Gaganachukki waterfall

After downing some cool cucumbers and tender coconuts, we drove across to the other view-point which is near the Dargah and which we remembered from our previous visit would take us closer to the waterfall. The area around the Dargah itself was much dirtier than previous times and we had a tough time reaching the actual access point. There again some time was spent getting the kiddo to wet his legs and play with water, while I being the adventurous one wouldn’t be satisfied without climbing down a couple of rocks to take better pics of the gushing waters from close range.

All done and with stomachs rumbling we decided to head the Mysore way. As we were taking the car out of the parking lot, we saw a board which said – ‘Bharachukki – 2kms’ and both of us were like ‘what?!!‘ With questions writ large on our faces we drove across only to find that the so-called twin waterfalls we had been viewing all along that day (and also in past years) was in fact only the Gaganachukki falls and what we had just then driven to was the site of the Bharachukki falls – which we realized was a totally different waterfall altogether and located a good 5-8 kms away from the other one!!

The Bharachukki waterfall

The Bharachukki waterfall

The view of this was just as magnificent and the Karnataka tourism department has spruced up the place with good boards and railings alongside the steps leading right down to the bottom, from where we saw people taking teppa-rides right upto the foot of the waterfall. The sight was mersmerising and tempting but we were already tired and couldn’t imagine going down and climbing up the scores of steps with a mischievous toddler in tow. We decided to revisit the place sometime again, even if it is only to take that tantalizing teppa-ride!

To find the missing links in this mystery of the two waterfalls I decided to google and found that they indeed were two separate segments formed by the splitting of the Kaveri river, surrounding the island town of Shivanasamudra. Wikipedia also goes on to say that we were not alone in thinking that the two segments of the Gaganachukki were two waterfalls in themselves and that it is a common misconception. Phew! there’s always something new to learn! I also checked back on this blog because I remembered writing about our previous trip to the place and guess what – our visit then too was at the same time and infact right down to the same date of the month, a good 7 years ago! Gosh! it’s hard to believe that it’s been so many years!

I will add the pics from home… and also write about the Mysore leg of the trip in detail in another post

Edited: to add pics

Simple aagondu anniversary and more…

It was our anniversary a couple of days ago and after a long time, we went to watch a movie together in the theatre. As my other counterparts would agree, watching a simple movie becomes quite a challenge after one has a baby! After nearly two years, we managed to convince ourselves that it’s ok to spend a day on our own while the kiddo was at school.

We watched the Kannada movie – ‘Simple aag ond love story’. Nothwithstanding the cheesy title, I can say that it was a movie we enjoyed watching – the cinematography and the scenic shots in Coorg are beautiful and some of the songs (especially the one sung by Sonu Nigam and another female solo by Sowmya Rao) are soulfully rendered. But the movie’s biggest strength are it’s dialogues – they’re crisp, sometimes in-your-face, funny, interesting, thought-provoking(?) and hold the story together. Both the lead actors are newcomers – Rakshit Shetty and Shwetha Shrivastav – though the latter is a familiar face on TV I guess. Both of them have acted well and carry the film through, but I thought that Rakshit was especially good – the way he rattled off those dialogues and carries off the different looks in the movie is commendable.
On the downside, though they called it a simple love story, I found that the story was a little too incredible and not very plausible. Also I felt that they could’ve used other people for the flashback scenes which form a major part of the movie – though I must say that Rakshit was equally brilliant in those scenes from the past too.That apart we enjoyed a quiet dinner out with the sonny boy and the day went by in a flash and the anniversary was done and dusted, even before we realized!

Among other stuff, life goes on as usual – amidst hours spent at work and at home with the little one. Now with his pigtails given to ‘maami’ at Nanjangud, he looks and behaves quite like a big boy; who still chatters non-stop though! He goes to a different day-care now which he likes much better and doesn’t mind going to. We’re a month away from sending him to big school and I can’t believe that my little baby is now so grown up that he will go to school on his own in the van with the other kids! He is never short of talk though and I love hearing him chatter, though it does get overwhelming at times! 😀
Some samplers:
Ellige hogtaiddiya? naanu barteeni – whenever he sees his appa or me opening the door!
Ivattu kaalu/palya/chapathi mam-mam madtidyaa? – whenever he sees me getting stuff ready for the next day’s meal
oota madona banni, chaape haakiddini – appa saaku TV nodiddu banni – kanda, ammane first, appa last (or vice versa depending on his mood)
These days all of us sit together on the kitchen floor and have dinner – we started doing this to get him to eat on his own. He has learnt to eat by himself – though he chatters non-stop and makes a mess sometimes, meal-times are a lot less stressful and get done quickly these days!
amma nange jeans pant haaku (anytime that we have to go out, sometimes there are tantrums and I am reminded of my friends telling me this about their sons and how I’d given gyan to them about handling such demanding kids – it all comes back to bite your butt, I tell ya!)
– when we’re watching IPL and shout SIX! or OUT! he repeats saying – six-ante! out-ante! 😀
– he loves listening and dancing to the beats of jhampak-jhapang! says jhampak-jhapang-giligiliye annu!
– he now knows his grandparents’ names and his chikki-chikappa’s names, his dodamma and atte’s names too…and several of his appa’s friends and their sons/daughters names 🙂
– he still loves listening to his amma sing at bedtimes and makes demands like – doni saagalu helu, mungaarina abhishekake helu or sakshatkaara helu… he clings to me like a little monkey and pulls across my hand saying – thatti maadu and falls asleep on many days.
I’m amazed at his grasping power especially with these songs – I’ve observed that I would’ve sung them just once or twice and he would’ve picked up parts of the lyrics even from the antaras and sings them when he is playing or is in a good mood!It has happened a couple of times and I’ve been pleasantly surprised every time.
– If he’s asking us a question and we’re hmm-ing and haw-ing through it, he says yaake, baayi bittu maatadu parvagilla! 😀

Well, that will give you an idea of the extent to which his thought processes and conversations around them have evolved 🙂
However big he talks and acts and says – naanu eega doddavanaagiddini; he still is my puttu-bangaari and even to this day, I am fascinated by his antics and expressions and the ease with which he talks. Sometimes I just look at him when he is fast asleep – that is the sight/ moment when my heart really feels full – with warmth, love and gratefulness for having this blessing in our lives 🙂

Turning two!

Our little has turned two… this time I won’t say ‘where have the days gone by?’ or ‘how time flies!’ I am not surprised that he has grown to be a toddler so soon…but I am amazed at how quickly he has changed so much. The changes are so many and so frequent that it’s almost impossible for us to remember and say – ‘oh! he started doing this at this time or in this month!’

Everyday there are new discoveries and sometimes I’m flabbergasted thinking – ‘now, where has he learnt this from?!’ His vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds…he talks nineteen to the dozen and literally understands everything. Sometimes when I stop to think I wonder – since when did we start making these fully intelligent conversations with him? Albeit some words are in baby tongue, but it’s full-fledged conversation where he asks, tells, insists and even expresses his opinions. Sample some of his recent quips that quickly come to my mind:

– It was a day when I was working from home. Late evening I came in after washing my face; my hair having been washed in the morning was still not tied. He was playing with his toys on the mat, he looked up and said – ‘ammandu maama elli? ammandu maama illa’ (where is amma’s bindi? amma’s bindi is missing!) and then also said – ‘amma tale baachi madilla’(amma hasn’t combed her hair). This didn’t surprise me, because he almost always immediately notices if I haven’t worn a bindi. Then I went into the room, powdered up and put on the bindi and started brushing my hair. As I was tieing my hair with a clip, he walked in looking for something. He suddenly looked up and said – ‘Hmmm… good boy!’ I was stunned! Leaving aside the boy bit (he’s still to learn about gender and boy/ girl differentiation) I realized that he was voicing his appreciation that amma had put on the bindi and was combing her hair!

– One evening after coming back from work, we noticed that his finger-nails had grown too long and needed to be trimmed. We told him some stories and cajoled him that he needed to get his nails trimmed, else they would get all dirty and also hurt him. I carefully was trimming each finger nail and placing it on a sheet of paper to be thrown, when one of the nails happened to pop out of the cutter onto my lap. He gave a small giggle and said – ‘uguru jump madbidtu’! (the fingernail jumped). The hubby was surprised and said – ‘yo, yavaglo idella kalite? inneradu varsha, kaige sigolla neenu! hogappa homework madbeku anteeya’(hey, when did you learn all this? two more years and you’ll be saying “go appa, I have homework to do and can’t play with you”. I said don’t be too hopeful, it’s more likely that he’ll say – “go appa I won’t do homework and want to play!” 😀

– On one of the mornings as I was getting him ready, he was looking at his ‘Winnie the Pooh’ story book. The story itself is too detailed for him to understand, so he likes looking at the pictures. In one of the pages, there was an illustration of a rainy scene – he saw that and said – ‘male barta ide’ (it’s raining). I said – ‘hoon kanda, male barta ide, avarella odde aagtare’ (yes son, it’s raining and they will be wet). He then said – ‘amma, chatri illa, male barta ide’ (amma, they don’t have an umbrella and it’s raining).

– Every Saturday there is an old lady who comes to our neighbourhood, she beats her jaagate and asks for alms. One day we noticed that the neighbouring house kid was giving her alms and she was placing her jaagate plate on the kid’s head and doing some actions to seemingly ward off the evil eye. It seemed to interest our little fella a lot, so we also started taking him to her every week. He now knows as soon as he hears the sound of her jaagate that she’s coming, even if she is at the end of the road. He says with a wide grin – ‘dum dum ajji bandru!’. This past Saturday as she finished blessing him and was on her way, he said – ‘ajji kaalu mannu aagutte’. He had noticed that she wasn’t wearing slippers and said that her feet would get dirtied by all the soil on the road!

As I said, he never ceases to amaze us with his talk!

Another big thing for us and him is – he has started going to playschool. Yes, it’s been a little early than normal but we’ve had to take this decision owing to some circumstances at home. It’s been two weeks and slowly he’s taking that in his stride too. The first week was bad and I was overcome with guilt and remorse that we had to put him through this at such a young age. The first week we only sent him for half a day and one of us stayed with him in class. He stuck to us all the time and wouldn’t let go even for a moment. When we tried to stay away from him for sometime, he wailed and wailed non-stop which would wrench our guts out! But the past week was better. At the beginning of the week myself and the hubby were so worried about what would happen – we were out of options and had to leave him at the day care, as both of us couldn’t afford to work from home and needed to be in office. I guess somewhere the poor soul realized it. He was much better and started getting adapted to his teachers and classroom. The first day when his ma’am told me (we were bombarding them with phone calls every hour or so!) that he had eaten his lunch and was taking his afternoon nap, I could’ve cried with relief! He still gets upset and says – ‘school beda’ in the morning and cries when we leave him there, but soon forgets and gets involved in the going-ons. I hope it remains that way and he begins to enjoy and will look forward to going to school – considering how fond he is of reading and writing and books and games. *Touch wood*

He is very possessive of his stuff and says – ‘idu nandu, adu nandu’ for everything. We chide him and say that he needs to share, but I guess he still needs to learn that since he’s mostly been used to having everything to himself with not many playmates around. I’m hoping that the school will teach him the importance of sharing too. Speaking of the school, it is not one of these fancy popular ones, but is a normal playschool. I wasn’t particularly interested in sending him to a hi-fi school which charges exorbitant fees promising lot of facilities. Moreover we wanted some place which was on the ground floor and with lot of space for the kids to run around and play and some good toys and activities to keep them interested and invigorated. Moreover in this school they say that they follow the gurukulam culture and will teach the children about the richness of our culture through vachanas and kagga etc. Tall promises – how much of it will be implemented, we have to wait and watch, but otherwise we are convinced that it would be a good place for him to start.

My baby is already showing signs of growing up and I never fail to seize an opportunity to cuddle him and demand for kisses in return – which he sometime obliges but most times dismisses saying – ‘sumniru!’ 😦 He’s still very much appa’s boy and reserves his best for his appa. He sometimes even says – ‘amma beda’! 😦 which hurts like crazy, even though I know that he is only a child and doesn’t mean it! When I look at photos taken in the past year, I see with a twinge of dismay that his cheeks are not as chubby as they used to be! I want my chubby little fella back who will give toothy grins at the sound of my voice and grace me with sloppy kisses when I yearn for some! He already turns away if I say ‘ammange muddu maadu’ 😦 Kids! Why do they have to grow up! Well, other parents will know, that’s only an indulgent mother speaking 😀 On normal days when we’re running behind them to get things accomplished, we’ll only keep complaining – how much more should I run in pursuit?! As they say, with kids, every day and every stage is a challenge; but the accompanying joys are boundless!

So, my dear little muddu mari, here’s wishing you many many many more happy returns of the day! Looking forward to more naughty antics and happy surprises from your side in the coming years ahead!!