A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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Kuttan – Alpha Everything :)

That mewling sound, that morning, at around 8.40 am, will always stay with her. Discovering him, gathering him in her palms, carefully wiping him down, before handing him over to his birth mother, who was trembling in the anxiety of just having had her first baby. The joy, the bewilderment, the miracle itself, unfolding. She and his mother, they both owned that feeling.

His mother then went on to have another six babies over the next four hours. Gently heaving, an experienced mother, by the end of it all. All the while the other mother watched helped, and was the mid-wife. 🙂 The babies were healthy, jostling and suckling her immediately. But that first one, that Alpha Male, he was already earmarked – he’d always be hers, other than his own mother’s, his Amma’s own special brat.

And so it came to be, he stayed with his Amma, and his birth mother Paru, those first three months, after which his mother, Paru, went back to Cpl, her “tharavaad” to her Ammumma (my mother), and he, the Alpha, stayed on, with is Amma, his brothers, and his older sister, Chinnu 🙂 (LINK)

 

The Menagerie*

Paru, his mother, and the seven, Kuttan I like to think is the one, flush up against her, head of the puppy pack!

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12 December, 2017

As I write this, I’m struck by this wave of emotion. A poignant nostalgia, seeing him, lifting his head from where he lies, close by, a quizzical look in his eye, as if to say, Amma, you called?

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The Alpha, my alpha everything, as you know, by this time, is my very own Kuttan. Naughty, mischievous, rambunctious, bordering on aggression, sometimes too often, needing to be cautioned, monitored and occasionally whacked 😀 a bit, he grew up, as kids who are loved deeply and unconditionally do – with supreme confidence in himself, and ready for anything!

Even in the face of dire warnings and well-meaning advice, his Amma never let him go. She never spoiled him, though it seemed like that to his Ammumz! Well, when you’ve got an awesome personality, with an edge of energy, you gotta show it, right? 😛 That’s one question that always bubbled over from his raised (invisible) eyebrow look! He even added a low growl for good effect. You don’t mess with me, was is USP, especially nights. Except his Amma, no one was tolerated within 10 m., once he’d had his dinner, and had settled down on Amma’s bed for the night.

But we’re getting ahead of the story. When his mother, Paru, returned to the ‘tharavaad’, and his siblings all found loving homes, his Amma, despite much advice against it, decided she wasn’t letting his go. He knew that he owned her, from that moment on. He did own her heart, and would do anything for her – including listening to her, to shut the eff up, when he got aggressive with the others – Chinnu, Appu, or even his mom Paru. His Amma said so, so he would. 🙂

As all young boys, he had much energy, kinetic, potential, what you name it, and expended that energy by scaling the compound wall and going off for a walk/run on his own. If he was allowed to wander on his own, in the walled in compound, or if by accident, the gates were left open, he’d be off in a shot, like a bat out of hell, particularly if there were cats in the vicinity. His racial memories had these lores of what enemies cats were, and he couldn’t help but be conditioned by it, and set about cleanly finishing the few he came across, who were no match for his lightning speed! (Wait! he must have wondered, as I do, if he had some feline blood in him to move so fast? Naah! he must have answered to him self too!!! 😛 )

Now comes the twist in the tale, if indeed he was CAT! Because, how does one explain his bonding with the cats at home?! M’mzelle Malu (LINK), Mia, her kitten?! How! That’s a question his Amma, and his family wondered… He never did though, it would seem. They, them cats, were family, weren’t they? DUH! 😛 You always got you family’s back, doncha?! You sure do! Even if they were cats! Because, here’s the thing see – the members of this family are the same – pretty much human, though some of them take the form of a cat, dog, squrrel, or occasionally as has happened, a bird or a bat!

Thus happened, the seemingly impossible. The Mellowing, the Meaowing too, to put it lamely, of The Kuttan! Mia Arrived dramatically, a rescue cat, scrawny, feisty, even though she fit into the palm of my hand when I brought her home, it was clear immediately who was boss! She had to be bottle fed, the first few weeks with me. Kuttan now had a constant companion, too, out on our long drives… Mia was as unfeline, and Kuttan was uncanine 😛 Maybe that’s one of the reasons they got along so well together! Err, did I tell you? Yes, we are a rather hatke family! 😛

Those rides with Kuttan and Mia, in my AK 47 (car, duh!) are legendary! Initially Mia travelled, protesting all the way, in a wee basket, with constant chatter from me to keep her comfy. Kuttan got the back seat, Mia up front, in her basket. In time, Mia began protesting in earnest and therefore was permitted to roam the car- she wasn’t very uncomfortable, but neither was she fully comfortable, though she accepted the rides well enough. She would roam around, plonk herself on my lap, sometimes rest her head on my shoulder, or sit behind my feet, that were on the pedals of the car. Sometimes she’d be at the window, looking out… Closed spaces and cats do not go well together 🙂

Eventually, in the nearly one and half years of to and fro travel, we decided that Mia would stay at my parents’ place since she loved the sprawling compound and open spaces there, and far safer from the stray cats that thronged my own neighbourhood in the city. I must also mention that in the intervening period, she had three kitten, and they were old enough to be on their own – in fact she had practically given my home to her kitten and became an infrequent visitor, when we planned to shift her to my parents, where she was extremely comfortable 🙂

This was nearly three years ago. Kuttan had grown more quiet, mature, and was becoming a model of good behaviour, except for the nights 😛 He and Appu, the males in the family, were constantly at logger heads, and came to actual fights many a time when they were younger, but had grown accustomed to each other, and tolerated each other better, as the years passed. In the meantime, his best friend, Chinnu, had gone ahead to pets paradise, in 2013. It was him,Mia and I, till her kittens came along.

Wiser, older, and yet his Amma’s Kuttan, that’s who he came to be. Each morning as she left for work, he’d see her off, standing by the window, and each evening he’d be up at the balcony, to greet her, with his own signature greeting… An oooooooo, OOOOOOOOO…. following by happy high pitched appealing barking 🙂 His Amma still looks up at the place, each day when she returns, and hears it, even though he remains unseen … Her heart knows , and isn’t that finally what matters?

Early this year, in the third week of February, he developed a breathing problem. He’d gasp, suddenly for breath, when he hadn’t been physically active too. It got his Amma worried enough, and so began a week long trek to the vet, as grew progressively weaker. He needed to be on drips, as he wouldn’t eat, or drink. Thinking it might have been a lung infection, all the tests were done to rule out possibilities, till the final x-ray revealed an enlarged heart which was probably pushing itself on the windpipe. Medicines were started.

Kuttan, as you know by now, wasn’t one to take being held down, or given an injection, with any kind of docility. However that week, he submitted to all the injections, the drips he needed to be given, the poking and prodding, like he’d always been such a paavam! Never a jerk, never a growl, nothing. It does not cease to amaze me, how much he’d changed and accepted that we were trying to help. However, that day, Sunday, 26 February, 2017, at the morning visit to the vet, for his drips, and his injection to reduce the enlarged condition of his heart, the students at the vet hospital, were unable to find a vein easily, on his hind leg, and it hurt him enough to react. So he was muzzled, he got panicky, started to froth, and very quickly, I removed the muzzle, calmed him down, but he lay so still, so so so still on the table, unmoving. Heart in my mouth, I tried cajoling him into responding, shook him, tried to lift him up… The doctors gathered around trying their best too. I was told to just was a few moments, since he was breathing, his heart was beating. I did, and he finally stood up, with help. Slowly he walked to the car with me, and we got home.

He still wasn’t eating. Barely drinking water, but breathing a bit easier. That morning, being tied up with some work, that was another trauma, I left him at home to complete it. He had his water, his medicines, and was resting. It took me a few hours, to get back to him, and he simply came and sat at my feet, when I returned. I remember calling my kids, and we were on a skype group call, when suddenly he came up, sat in front of the laptop for a long time, looking at the screen, where they kept calling his name, and he kept looking at them. (He never does that, I thought. He NEVER does that!) I continued with the chat, as he lay close. We finished, and then came a call from Daddy. As I was talking to him, answering his query about Kuttan, I noticed he was not at my feet, but had gone out.

Stepping outside to check, all I could do was just keep repeatedly calling out his name. He lay on the verandah, his favourite spot, at the edge, his head having fallen gently, lax, peacefrul, to touch the first step down. He’d gone on. He’d left. He’d …. just, gone. The irony of the whole thing was that he had always been the healthiest of the lot we had, hardy, dependable, never ever ill.

Gently, I lifted his head and placed it on my lap, told daddy what had happened, and asked that he arrange for someone to prepare a grave for him there, since I wanted him next to his friends, Appu and previously, Ammini, our first Alsatian, buried there. I called his favourite friend, C, my help, and she came, heartbroken to discover he’d gone. When the taxi arrived, I carried him onto the back seat, cradled his head on my lap, and kept talking to him for the two hours we took to reach my parents’ place. It was almost 9 in the night, by then. We kept Paru inside, till the next morning. But a strange mournful howl, as Kuttan was taken to his final resting place still echoes in my ear, his mother’s goodbye to him perhaps.

He’s in a better place, oh yes, he is! And what is that final goodbye, but just a liminal, I tell myself, knowing that we’d meet again, some other lifetime, after we meet at the Rainbow Bridge, that is 🙂 He’s here, with me, for as they say, those who die, are never gone, not when you carry them in your heart ❤ and see them around you, talk, as often as you can to them.

Yesterday, I watched, for the first time (I know I’ll watch that one more times yet!) “Cloud Atlas”, and was struck by some of the wisdom in the beautiful writing of that script 🙂 Like these, for each of them leads me to believe, I’ve not finished my time with Kuttan!

Our lives are not our own. we are bound to others, past and present

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This world spins from the same unseen forces that twist our hearts.

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I believe death is only a door. One closes, and another opens. If I were to imagine heaven, I would imagine a door opening. And he would be waiting for me there.

***

I believe there is another world waiting for us, Sixsmith, a better world. And I’ll be waiting for you there.

I know he and the gang are waiting at the rainbow bridge 🙂 And that he’s happy with them, up there! It’s never goodbye, you know… for you’re always with me, Kutts!

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Kuttan of the pointy ears! 26 December, 2006- 26 February, 2017

25 December, 2017

Labour of love ❤

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Mrs. Awesome

I first met her, bubbly, charming, easy to talk to, very comfortable to be with, and quite quite enchanting – all of this at the first time we met. Yes, I am a very accommodating person, but hesitant to be completely bowled over, as I was, by this young lady! No surprises there, because if you’ve met her, you’ll agree, and if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ll look forward to it ❤

I have been blessed abundandtly I know to have sought, and got what I’ve yearned for; two beautiful girls, brought home as partners to my sons, by them. Yep, something got done right, in the way they brought themselves up – and I’m the one who gets to savour that! 🙂

Back to this gal now 🙂 Yes, one of them girls – Mrs. Awesome, says the keychain, she uses for the car. Well, her husband is Mr. Awesome (his twitter handle carries the same name – that adorable boy of mine – 😛 Arjun!) And this laid back, patient, fun person, who doesn’t get upset very easily, and instead is the even keel of many a rocky moment that even I have, let alone her family, is the subject of this blog 🙂 My elder daughter in law, Pratibha, Parukutty as we call her ❤

She is Mrs. Awesome, not just because of partnering Mr. Awesome (do ask him why he calls himself that, because this one is about the Missus 😀 ) –  but, over the past year, from her earlier birthday (LINK), she’s shown how much she truly is 🙂 The Awesome couple were expecting their second baby, and through it all, while Arjun had to be sailing, and be busy, she held the fort and sailed through her own pregnancy without much help, except in the last month since neither I nor her mother could be with her as much as it was possible earlier when they were going to welcome Naina 🙂 This time she was very much the Captain of the voyage ❤  One which brought home to us, yet another beautiful girl, Naira 🙂 mid May 🙂

By the end of June, she was already taking charge, and working independently with two children now to care for, mommying like a Boss! Duh. Just another day in the lives of this girl! 🙂 This meant, with Arjun being busy, that she had to drop and pick up Naina, from school, manage home and the wee one 🙂 Yes yes yes yes… all in a day’s work, and not really such a tough call for most women in India. I get that. Yet, for all of them women, and most especially Parukutty, I find it’s amazing they do!! Most recently, when Arjun had to go off for nearly one and half months on deployment to another port, she managed all alone 🙂 and extremely well too, seemingly without effort, though on occasion I was moved by her cheerfulness and remarkable demeanour ❤

Naina, you all know her 😛 , decided it was time to be like her dad, and one fine afternoon, when her mother was busy on a call, decided to heave a few of the containers from the kitchen over the back balcony – down to the ground floor, from the first floor they were in. Provisions done, she chose a few toys, her mother’s purse…. and we thank heavens that she did not attempt anything more 😀 Her father, as has been written in one of the  many blogs here that celebrate my kids had heaved a heavy steel iron, over the 4th floor window of my parents’ flat, in Mumbai, when he  was three and a few months – Naina was just the same age. Yep, in this case she’s her daddy’s daughter alright! 😀

Talking to Paru a few minutes after this happened, there was a hint of laughter in her voice, mixed with relief, of course, but she handled the whole thing way more maturely than i could ever have – Naina had been talked to, very firmly, and was told not to do that again. The little one went into a minor sulk, as was expected, but being her Momma’s girl too, she bounced back soon enough 😛

Parukutty figured out fitting the car seat, for Naira, the little one, and got her strapped in for solo rides with the kids! Like woah!!! I went 🙂 Arjun, remember, was away, and I’m happy to report that he’s just got back home a couple of days ago, just in time… for what you wonder?

…Parukutty’s special day ❤

Ta-daaa! As Nainu is fond of saying!

Happy birthday, Parukutty! Many many joyful and utterly haaaapppiieeee returns of the day, sweets! May your cheerfulness and quiet confidence, your energy and enthusiasm permeate and touch the lives of all who love you and all you know! You are indeed Mrs. Awesome, though and through! Love you very very much!!! Stay blessed, dear one!

14 October, 2017


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The Hours

The hours.

Ours.
Tick-tocking,

Marking time.

A nervous tic

That betrays

A yearning

To hold

Discloses a fear

Too real to feel

And hides, the

Overwhelming soulfulness

That begs to be noticed;

And stills when

Love’s gaze settles.

Singularly. Warmly.

All-encompassing.

You’re home.

The hours, now,
Ours.
28 September, 2017


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These are a few of my favourite things…

… about her, this DIL ka tukda (piece of my heart 🙂 ), an awesome Virgo girl, (LINK) partner in crime to the Lion in our family 🙂 Now you know how he flourishes! All because of this young girl, and the way she’s taken him by the hand and walked beside him, having got his back, being the guiding light, the one who fixes him too, and loves with all that she has, in her heart ❤ and soul 🙂

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Yes, Ashwin, HER! Happy Birthday, Neeti!!! 

As intense as they come and as fiercely loyal as they are, this one all of that and more. My DIL, my Neetikutty, an alter ego of all my quirky self too!Be it movies, the fun ‘ideas’, and the love of books 🙂 Both of us ‘hatke‘, me more, though 🙂 She too strives hard to ensure I stay that hatke! The perfect daughter a mom could have!

I know I’ve spoken about her too, a LOT, on this space, over the years, but what you love and admire about a person ought to be said enough times, I guess, and then some! And so it is with her too…

…like you can call her at any time of day or night, and know you shall hear an answering voice, even in the dead of night. Sometimes even your best buddies don’t, can’t do that!

….when life throws a spanner at you, you kind of reel, in slow motion and yelp and curse, right? She smiles, grabs it, puts it in her tool kit, to use, for tightening a few loose nuts around her, primarily her partner’s 😛 😛

… her sense of style and being able to carry off with grace and elegance, even a homely (hehehe Neeeettiiiiiiii 😛 ) sweatshirt and pants 😛 😛 But really, she’s just plain gorgeous!

….the way she can focus on what needs to be done (yep, I can, you can too, duh! but how long do you stay with it???!! Gotcha!!! 😛 ), and does it!

…. those Time Management skills! I’ve learnt a thing or two from her, about incentivizing (the self, people, the self!!!) and actually making it work! However, I’m still a work in progress! (pun-DUH-intended!!! 😀 )

… her ability to see the big picture, and then heck! join in the fun of circumventing it! The goofiness of a good laugh, thumbing one’s noses at such things… I love that about her!

…her deep deep devotion to those she loves. I still need a few lessons that a way! I’m still learning, as we all are, I know 🙂 But you know how it is, how it comes easy to some people more, over the others? She’s one!

… her generosity of her heart, her time, her work, and yes, her bosses do tend to take advantage of it 😛 Much as that is tagged as a no-no these days, it is something just as refreshing!

This, up  here, isjust a wee bit of what makes that gorgeous, zany, passionate gal who’s my darling Daughter In Law, my DIL, an echo of my own heart – and she celebrates her birthday today!

Happy Birthday Neetikutty! You’re a goo gu’l , you are!!! (remember that awesome night we dragged down the beds onto the floor to watch Eliza Dolittle??!! It was the best!!! And yes, I am a goo gu’l too!!! ) Here’s wishing you life’s best, with love, laughter, warm sunshine, romantic rains, stunning rainbows, and all the colours and passions of life to add to the masterpiece of life you are making, as you journey onward! May the Brush strokes of the powers that be, be gentle, healing, loving and soft! Live life Quantum Size, my dearest daughter! There’s no one else I know who deserves to!

I love you, Neetikutty! God Bless, always!

 

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My fav. pic of you 🙂

30 August, 2017

More, for Neeti:

A Goo’ Gurl She Is!

The Queen of His Heart!

Here’s wishing another dil ka tukda, Keerthi Gautham on her birthday too! Another girl who makes me wonder at how these beautiful souls manage to rise above the things life throws at you, take it in their stride and march on oblivious to it! Lesser souls would pause to catch their breath, not these Amazons of the heart and spirit!

A wisp of clouds in the sky takes her fancy, and her camera’s and she brings to you the most wonderful of pictures, words and stories she creates… our girl on Cloud No. 9! Uma, (her blog is HERE!) you’re wished a wonderful day today, and the best of times ahead too! Big hug!!!

Happy Birthday, you gals, Neeti and Keerthi and Uma!! I love ya’ll!


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Voices Spinning Webs

Night skies.
Diamond dotted darknesses.
Poignant, yet
Beautiful, holding
Brightnesses of infinitesimal joys.

Souls aching to meet
Reaching out through
Wispy strands of yearning…

Weaving, entwining
Arcing over synapses,
Bridging abysses of longing.

And the tingling.
O’ the tingling…
When a zinging thought
Meets, resonates.

In words, rusty…
Hidden too long. Unused voices.
Husky, hesitant.

Emotion does not hang heavy, here.
Instead, they anchor us.
Give us that scaffolding…
And our voices, from our hearts…

They build our world
Within our entwined hands.

Fragrant with wanting.

23 August, 2017