A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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Been there, done that

That’s who she was, someone on the go, having seen so much in her nearly 15 years of life. Here’s to you Paru!

“How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?” (song reference, Maria, from The Sound of Music) That question so describes Paru, a darling, not a headache, a flibbertijibbet, a will o the wisp, a wave upon the sand, a cloud so hard to pin down… An angel of a fur baby with the temperament that was all friendly and cuddlesome. (We, as a family, refuse to call them just dog or cat. I know, it’s … hatke!)

She was a wee mite, abandoned outside my parents’ home, early March, 2006 – maybe a month or six weeks old, wailing pitifully! It was afternoon, and we’d had lunch. I went out, picked her up and she sniggled right in as if she belonged. They know, so much better than us, don’t they?

Appu, our year old, lanky, perpetual ball-in-the-mouth Alsatian, was in residence. A young male, likely to be aggressive to a wee pup? Nah! This was Paru. She had him twisted right around her adorable self, almost immediately. I have an audio-less video of her playing with him, the afternoon she arrived. How gentle Appu was! How endearingly energetic Paru was! By evening, they had become inseparable – till Appu went onwards ten years later.

As she grew, by leaps and bounds, literally, (she scaled, jumped over the compound walls and went walkabout, greeting all and sundry affably, so much so that she was soon the naattukkarude ammai 😛 ), we knew we had to give her her head… And what a gorgeous head she had complete with a one in a million Railway Signal Ears 😀 As her human siblings (us, kind of) had received, she too received her dose of discipline, and loads more unconditional love, and more freedom to wander – she knew where home was, no doubt!

By the close of the year, November, 2006, she had become distinctly rounder – just before she could be spayed, and she gave us Christmas gifts on 26 December, 2006 – 7 pups in all! I was the mid-wife 😀 The oldest was Kuttan, my very own bachcha! Kuttan of the pointy ears! (My younger son maintains that Appu must have been his dad, for there remained between then for the next ten years a simmering aggression – sigh!)

Our extended family was growing – Chinnu, my lab, Kuttan, and Malu our cat, later Mia joined, all of them at my place, and Paru, Appu at my parents! Her pups were all adopted at about 6-8 weeks, but Kuttan stayed on with me.

My younger brother says she is so much my Mom, who loves their home in Cherplassery more than any other place! Paru would, maybe, tolerate a couple of days away from there, but after that she would pine to be back there. Once she had to stay with me, Chinnu and Kuttan for about three weeks, while Appu and my parents went to stay with my YB. Three days into her stay with us, she had had it. Each day, she would go and sit in the car, if I opened and door, and sit, patiently waiting for me to get in and take her home. When my parents finally returned and she joined them, she refused to go to my mother for a whole evening. It was the next morning before she forgave my mother. Ever since, my mother has never separated Appu and Paru, neither has she left her anywhere else other than her home, with me babysitting her 😊

She would unfailingly visit our neighbour after she had her late afternoon snack of biscuits, and spend some time with them, for they too had biscuits ready for her. To say that they miss her just as much is an understatement. Every person here, in cpl, knew her so well, and would come home to enquire about her if they did not see her for a few days.

When she finally breathed her last, so many of them came to pay a condolence visit with my parents! Towards her later years, maybe the last 6 to 7 years, she was prone to panic attacks at loud sounds – firecrackers, thunder, heavy rain. Her way of dealing with it was to run out to wide open spaces. She hated to be home then. Soon we learned to recognize the signs, and would keep her indoors till the worst had passed. It was difficult as she would be restless, trembling, chew up corners of the furniture. Poor dear!

Arthritis soon caught up with her, and the past couple of years have been hard. She would still walk, run out in panic, but it was a laboured walk. A couple of years ago, she went missing on Vishu day amidst the firecrackers. She was still missing the next morning, and my Mom had sent out search parties, calling people, she herself going out to look for her. Soon news reached about a dog located at the bottom of a dry well, a bit shallow, thankfully, and lined with dried coconut palm leaves. Paru. Miraculously unhurt! That was in 2018. It was the worst, we thought.

Next year. Vishu. She went off at the loud sounds again. She was almost 14 years by then. She did not return that night (as she usually would), not the next day. Panic was beginning to set in at home, and soon, my YB and I arrived to search too. He from Bangalore, I from my son’s place. She went missing on Monday afternoon. Tuesday, Wednesday (we arrived) passed. We got posters made, with my mother’s phone number on it, her red collar, her friendly face, her red collar … all there. It was shared on social media, on whatsapp, put as flyers in newspapers. Wednesday passed, nothing. I was constantly on the edge, close to tears. Thursday morning, we began early, scouting the hill nearby, where she was sighted. Each time we went in the direction she was supposed to have taken, it appeared we missed her by an hour or so… This went on till evening. It was four days now, our 14 year old, arthritic Paru was missing – at this point Mom said, I just wish I could know and see her, I need to know. Acceptance was being prepared.

That night, Thursday, it rained. Thunder, lightning. YB said, I’m going. She’s bound to be out and walking. We’ll find her. Mom joined and so did SIL and I. 9.30 pm in the rain, saw the red Wagonar, with three women hollering Paruuuuuu Paruuuuuu, on the roads a few kilometres away, where she was reported to have been sighted.

Suddenly, mom’s phone rang. The voice at the other end said, Your Paru just passed us by, she looks scared. You must know, it was night, raining, dark. Where, where, asked Mom. Turned out, we were 2 minutes away, around the corner! YB vroomed there. I jumped out, and three young men, pointed the way down a dark curving narrow lane. There, they said. I ran.YB parked the car. Mom and I were racing down, shouting her name. And there she was, turning around to look, unable to believe her eyes!. She came to me, snuggled right into my arms, like that first time!

Thanking the powers that be, thanking these young guardian angels sent down for her, for us, we picked up our precious treasure and headed home. What a moment that was. I still have goosebumps when I think back to that moment. Another few moments, and the time would have passed when we would ever see her again. That age? One never knew. Serendipity that time and space and the numerous prayers and blessings worked!

This was last year, 14- 18 April, 2019. As the months passed, she mellowed, became slower, her legs a bit more stiff. My mother was the North on her compass, and she’d miss her terribly even if she went on a short errand. She suddenly seemed unusually fragile. Last year, we thought she wouldn’t see another Vishu. But she did. This year, 2020. She couldn’t find energy to go out much, and stayed in.

In September, this year, she took seriously ill, unable to stand for long, unable to walk steadily, and had to be helped to go out to poop and pee. A couple of weeks of constant care, nurturing saw her gaining strength, but the signs were there that she was just taking care to see we were not troubled by her.

She waited till December, I think, to celebrate my parents’ 60th anniversary in the first week of December, spend some time with us. The last couple of days must have been really difficult, though it was only Mom and Dad with her then. She did not linger, she did not give them any trouble, but after the visit to the Vet, on Saturday morning, she quietly lay down and let go.

What matters is that she is no more in pain, no more difficulty in walking, and she’s joined her tribe to make it their special foursome, Chinnu, Appu, Kuttan and Her, gambolling away, in Pet’s Paradise, though they must all be waiting to meet us, in lifetimes to come. I firmly believe that.

Funny, isn’t it? All the while, when we think we have rescued them, we fail to understand and appreciate this one simple fact – it’s US, each of us who is rescued, when we love and cherish them. No one, not a single person, will ever love you, like they do. We’re given the privilege and honour to share their love. May we never forget that. To all the fur babies I’ve known and been rescued by, and most of all to you, dearest Paru – Thank You.

Peace,my darling girl.

Paru – early March 2006 – 19 December, 2020


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Milestones…

…aplenty, for her, who makes anything seem absolutely doable. From the time I’ve known her, this is what has been my greatest takeaway. From experience of being one, and knowing ever so many, young people are easily distracted and perhaps cannot focus enough, and for the “enough” amount of time to be able to find success or satisfaction in what they do. She has always been a source of inspiration, motivation and perseverance for me, personally, for she is all that. Focused, and “enough”.

Today, and most especially over the past three months, I bow down to her absolute (I know I’m using that word much, but at this point I have no other word that comprehensively says what I want to 🙂 ) indomitable self in achieving milestone after milestone, and staying grounded, humble, and the fun person she is. It ain’t easy, but with her, she knows what she is about, and if not, she knows how to ask what it is about! Can’t beat that combination, no?

Neeti, from the fun person you are, to the grounded and wise daughter to this Amma, the giggling gal to the one who said to me, comforting me when I thought my heart would break, having to leave you and Ash and Bowie when you needed somebody there, Amma, there’s probably something more important that you are required for, there, maybe. Let’s look at it that way? I am and always will be proud of the innate grace and maturity you carry, quietly, and yet with that thread of determination, that underscores your commitment and sense of service; the way you give, and give of yourself in time, and generosity of spirit… Oh so much, so much!

May life lean towards infinite kindness, love, and joy, all the more, now that you are holding within your arms, your universe – your boys – be it Dhruv, Bowie or Ash – and may this day, and year get better with each passing day!

May your days be blessed with the gurgling laughter of little Dhruv, and the joy that wagging tails bring, most especially Bowie’s! May your workplace and home complement each other, and may your littler bois be good, for you! May the partnership and love of your own partner be more profound and pronounced, as you share of yourselves with each other.

May you be healthy, find peace, especially when you need it 😀 , and get lots and lots of sleep, unexpectedly and expectedly! 😛 May life sing songs of love that move you to blessed tears.

May you find the infinite blessings and grace of God.

Happy birthday, dearest Neetikutty. Better than the best, may this one be that 🙂

30 August, 2020


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Achcha, Bahut Achcha!!

Glossary:

Achcha, in Hindi: Good; Bahut: very, extremely

Achchain  Malayalam:  Father ❤

If you’re a regular here, part of that infinitesimal number, because I need to be a better host 😛 , you know by now where we are heading. This time, too, you are important, almost as important to the Bahut Achcha Achcha that this blog celebrates 🙂

My lion cub (indeed I do refer to him as such, even now, though he is a puli – lion – through and through!) now has cubs of his own, and there is no greater sight than that of him and his partner with their cubs 🙂 Cubs, plural, you ask? Yep, that’s how the ball rolls in our family. Offspring are just so, be it the fur kind, or the human kind 🙂 Between his last birthday to this one, he and his lovely partner have two! Achcha, bahut Achcha!! 🙂 I know you know that is as cheesy as it gets, but that’s the way this blog works. Cheesier the better, for us, all around 😛

Today is his day – 3 August; the Blog Tradition here is one that has survived, amongst many troubles this year, and as with my other bachchus, this one now takes its due place here! And how! From being the Ammakutty, and never smiling as an infant, never being comfortable with anyone other than the closest family, he’s a metaphor for all things joyful, funny, friendly and out and out helpful! Also, he is now a parent.

People speak, and share, all the time, of how being a parent shall not change who they are, deep inside, and maybe it is true to a certain extent – but parenting as such brings out the best resourceful YOU, IMHO. Most often, young parents (especially the Indian variety 😛 ) have the support of extended family during that time – a bit before the arrival of the wee one to a lot later. This year has been a roller coaster that isn’t giving up giving us a ride we never asked for. But, we are on it, and ride we must, isn’t it? And so it came to be that they welcomed Dhruv into our Love, without the least hesitation of going it by themselves, since help from extended family was hindered by the pandemic! So helpless,were we, yet prouder than even at how these two young parents did a beautiful job of it! Each day is a blessing, to be taken one at a time, is it not? I have learned so much of that, from both of you, Ash and Neets ❤

When Bowie, the first baby arrived, in October, last year, the excitement was so palpable – daily stories, the cutest videos of this entirely adorable pupper and them two parents! A few months down to June, 2020, Bowie is now the Elder, with a wee one to join him – Dhruv! Their Achcha and their Amma be the best too! Today, watching them all while virtually cutting the cake, I could not help but wish I could hold them all in this ginormous squishy hug! Dhruv, with his cooing and wee smiles, Ash and Neeti looking so good together 🙂 Bowie wasn’t there, unfortunately, but we’ll catch up with him in the evening 🙂

 

 

Ashwin, my dearest Chots, you are wished dearly and infinitely, this day – you are blessed, you are cherished and loved, loved so very much! Please know that, every single moment, even if sometimes I forget to tell you so 🙂 These be my wishes, dearest dearest Chotu

For every cloud that that blankets you, I’ll pray for cleansing rain, dissolving your nuggets of pain, bit by tiny bit, so that all that’s left is you, your love and sweetness and the falling rain…

For every moonbeam that reaches down to you, that you cannot see, I’ll wish it ribbon-like, to trail and wind about you, unravelling the magic that never leaves…

And when you ask, without them pesky words, I’ll simply point to the stars, in the darkest darkness, and tell you, that the fire there, is never distant; That’s what I carry as benediction, as faith, as a constant unfailing reminder… Of love, maybe unexpressed, but ever enveloping.

Happy birthday, ende chotukkutta ❤ you Daddy Cool!!

3 August, 2020, the redefining year 🙂

The Years, Before, the Blog Tradition held these:

A few footnotes ( from the previous year’s blog!):

This one from here in 2012, and damn, that is what, 8 years back?! Woah. I am rather proud of myself, and will not hesitate to say it, today, for me

Right, before I go ga ga all over again, over my Lion Cub, I do want to share those “traditions” 😀 . It started in 2009, with“The Right Age”, the went on to “For My Little One” (incidentally he’s a few millimetres short of being 6 ft tall   ), to when he flew the coop, in “When Nestlings Fly”, and Metamorphosis and settled in with “Pride”  in 2010 and 2011, last year. And here is where he tells me it’s no fun doing something unless your mom says NO. So it is 3 August again, and, as my kids in school say, “his happy birthday”!

Earlier (and later )Blog Tradition blogs for Ashwin, each year, are here – Click on the year to be taken to that blog 🙂

2009   2010 2011   2012  2013  2014  2015   2016  2017  2018, 2019

 

 


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An Ingénue and The Kurumbi

…that’s her. French frills, Malayalee goondaaism and a healthy dose of Bhopali Bindaas! Who else, but the resident whirlwind of a wisp of a lass, Naira, who celebrates her birthday today!

img-20200516-wa0019-118897997.jpg

Last year, I missed all the major ones, with the wee sprites. This year, it was almost a hit and miss, but I got in, just in the nick of time with the Senior N. (here) and here I am, with the one for the Junior N.

Naina is the Senior, and Naira the Junior. Naina is all Princess, Perspicacious, Precocious and Naira is all action, tornado, and unstoppable, in the same years that Naina went through!

Their father, Arjun, my first born, the Sun Child, as I call him (Link) was a tiny roller coaster of a child growing up – this one, Naira, his second born, is definitely his alter ego of those days!

A charmer, these days, she’s had her own schedule of doing things, and once she decided she would, she wasted no time getting totally into it! First, it was turning over on her tummy, then getting up on fours, walking, putting out her first teeth… she’s been on her own clock.

The last time I saw her and hugged her, she was getting the hang of words (she took the longest time to say something she could anyway, just to tease me – the word being Ammummaaa! ) That was the last week of February. These days we meet virtually, and she delights me with her string of words, complete sentences… all with the Naira-only-attachment at the end of it all .. alle. So, it’s ice-cream-alle, or doo-dooo-alle… much like Marathi, I do believe 😀

But yes, almost three months without meeting me, she still hasn’t forgotten her Ammummaaa… and gives me a replica of toothy grin that I give her, proceeding thereafter to make faces, which I mimic! This year’s birthdays, of both my N grandotties, I have missed being there, but yes, knowing they are comfortable, safe and healthy is enough celebration, in these uncertain and trying times!

Her mother usually calls out for her, when I ask for her, saying “Mashuuuu…. Ammumma alle, come come….” She runs to the phone. On the other hand, the older one is more sedate and full of news about how the Corona virus will go after 17 May, which, incidentally, is tomorrow no? Sigh!

What’s your name? I ask little N. And she gives me her look and says Maashuuuu… (there’s a back story to this – and you’ll understand only if you have seen Masha and the Bear, a Russian cartoon strip about this tiny girl, wearing a headscarf, and the lovable bear who cares for her, and puts up with all of her mischief! Masha became Mashuuu… given her predilection for Masha-like feats and naughtiness 😛 Oh my, she’s the best goonda ever!

Last year she was two, and this was written nearly three months later:

Ingénue, or The Kurumbi

Makes you think of this lovely lass,

Full of sass, interesting, errr, unpredictable?

Well that’s who she is, both innocent, and a goonda

The one, THE one, who has us all, going awwww…

Or O M G, get herrrrrrrr…. before she… errr

The air is then suddenly filled with any of these…

Silence, shrieking, or laughter of the open mouthed variety!

 

That, dear folks, is Naira, who’s two this May (2019)

Who this blog has introduced last year, on time

And this year, came by a tad late… The rambler

That wacky soul, here, was overwhelmed, up against

A mountain of stuff, that’s her excuse,

But glad all the same, that she’s here this day,

Having climbed that mountain, and let the forest

Of possibilities be, no weeding out, only growing

And moving onwards, inspired by this grandottie of hers

 

Naira. That Shining Soul. That unputdownable Sprite.

The one whose whole self lights up her soul

In the sudden smiles she gifts, and the (now)

Ammummmaaaaaa, mmmuuummmmaaaa

She bestows. She’s that rather happy, delighted

Delightful soul, who’s been given that space and love

To be who she is. Just who she is.

And my wish is just that…

A ton of blessings, prayers, charmed spells and flights of fancy, all the light and love to make a year of the most precious things glow steadfast in your memory, my dearest darling! My dearestest Goonda, my Nairakutty – Happy wala birthday to you!

3 August, for 16 May, 2019

Her First Birthday Blog

2018: https://ushus.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/one-and-the-show-has-just-begun/ 


I wish I could give you that squishy hug right now, and tell you how much I love you Nairakutty! I miss seeing you go … Ammumma, nam nam alle… and phone alle… and Dancey dancey alle… I love you baby! Stay blessed and and awesome as your sister and parents! Mwaaaahhhh!!!

 

16 May, 2020

 

 


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Doggone

It?

What?

That?

Huh!

Every single day

Is this,

I’m sure you’d agree!

Given what our senses

Are subject

Or, wait!

Should not be subject?

On the subject of it…

What?

The subject of …

StopPlease! (a confounded floundering)

(Aha! My technique seems … apt?)


Me and myself

Have these conversations

The Times, they be such

Even with your own self

You scarcely know

If you’re coming

Or going…

Ostrich, you be

Or an Owl…

No matter that you choose

To ignore

Or that you mumble and hoot

 

One thing’s for sure

The Manger has that dog

The one who cannot share…

And, because you love ’em so,

You can’t even say

Dang!