A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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Five and Six…

… double bonanza – of double birthday wishes, because it’s always time, to do the right thing! It’s the 28th of March, Her Day – Naina is six this day (still 28th in India 🙂 as I write this in, all the way across the South Indian Ocean, from a city that is on the shore of the South Pacific Ocean, Sydney, to be precise!)

It’s the first birthday of hers that I am missing, owing to the fact that I am far away, and perhaps even if I were closer, it might have been due to the current stay-at-home lockdown, owing to the health crisis that the world at large faces, wherever they be.

What do I say, of her, whom I’ve probably spoken of, endlessly, in pictures and words? That she’s her own lovely person? Articulate, creative, bubbly, slightly bossy, and at the same time a pushover too! She makes me realize, each day, each moment I spend with her, that life holds such promise, such delight, should we just look at the rainbow, instead of hunting for that elusive pot of gold, at the end; that having fun is what life is about, and not boring stuff like solving problems, and doing homework! 😛

It has been a few months now, that she has become a rather fluent reader! I am not quite sure how that happend, but I sure am pretty chuffed that she discovered the magic that lies in the pages of a book, in the words that form in sounds letters make, and meaning dawns, along with a surge of joy that whooshes with the wondrous wave of understanding them! She’s perhaps one of the youngest confident readers I know, and I thank whatever powers that be, that she discovered it early enough, without even having been coaxed into it! Must be the genes of her parents, which in turn… ahem!! 😀 I cannot not take credit for that even no? A sample below, from January, 2019. She was in Class 1.


I could go on and on… but I’ll let what I wrote on her fifth birthday, last year, speak for me, for it says all I want to this year too, and then some! Happy sixth, Naina darling! You shall ever be the shining star on my horizon, night or day, and I love you with all of my heart and soul! Stay blessed. Stay awesome! ❤

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Her Fifth Birthday – A very Woke One!

A random selection of pictures above, from today, when they stayed home and had a cosy time!

Onward now to the blog I had written over a few months, for last year 🙂 

28 March, 2019.

That morning of 28th March five years ago, was, seemingly, another, usual one, but I’d like to think of that update I posted on Facebook as part of my #magicalmornings as the indicator that it was also to be the most special one – the morning when Love whooshed in with the wee little baby gifted to us – Little Naina, who, right now, ain’t so little no more, having just turned five, growing by leaps and bounds, but, at the heart of it all, still that same baby gathered into our fold of uncompromising and fierce affection!

Grandchildren aren’t just an adorable lot of young people who make you feel good. Very often I’ve thought they’re that chance we have at getting parenting right, with copious amounts of love, laughter and LIFE with all its quirks and questions! The parents have the conn (in submarine speak, Denzel Washington ishtyle), but we get to execute our little games and plans, in cahoots with them grand kids.

And is she grand or what!! Both she and her sister are! (At some point literacy and curiosity are going to come together, to read what Ammumma monkey has been writing all these years, and I already sense ruffled feathers when the First of the N sisters and the Second of the N sisters decide to compare notes, of the blogs 😛 )

Continued on 12 April, ’19 – her Dad’s birthday 😀 – because that finicky monster within will not let me proceed to his blog, without finishing what I started, and also because I got to, duh. It’s Naina’s day too 😀 )

On the note of the kids comparing notes, I have ceased to wonder how these babies grow so fast, and I have moved on to thanking the powers that be that they are happy, healthy, growing with kindness and patience (the grown ups they know have it, the second one, they’re well, picking up, let’s say? 😛 ), growing as kids do, with questions, insouciance, mischief, and lots of love. Loads and loads of love that simply grows each day, as much as and sometimes more than they do. That’s the constant 🙂

Case in point, this Ammumma has discovered she’s just a petulant kid too, on occasion, when she has these sessions with Naina! Things escalate (buzzword of the day, check!) and these two, grandottie and Ammumma, and then, bam! Pyrotechnics, all over the place 😛 Like I mean, she throws these orders around, and tells me to never visit her again, that I can walk on them railway tracks ALL the way back to Thrissur…. And me saying FINE! Let your parents come, and I’LL GO! Cripes, thinking back cracks me up and at the same time squeezes my heart, so filled with love, laughter and poignancy, am I 🙂 Of course, a little time later, she sneaks into my lap and tells me, Sorry Ammumma, it’s just that sometimes I’m so ANGRYYYY! I say sorry too, and we hug, long and hard… It gives me redemption, this, for all those times I couldn’t say sorry, or allow my kids to say all of those things, and that is huge. Every such occasion, and believe me, for all the love and laughter and merry making we share, we have our such moments, these little little meltdowns, which actually give both of us a lot of release of pent up stuff!!

Learning lessons each day, we are. May we always do that. And may this carry over into other spheres, for both of us. 🙂

Naina, I guess you and I are soulmates (I hope you do not gag when you discover this years on 😛 ) – there’s this way somehow that we get on the same wavelength (what it says of her mental age and mine is … ahem, rather complimentary for both of us, as I see it 😛 😛 ) – I know we’d have recognized each other, and we still shall, no matter where our souls go next ❤ (Naira, if/when she reads this, at this point, is going to go rather mad, but let’s sail that ocean a bit later 😛 ) I mean, yesterday, when we went out, just Naina and I, to Payyanur town, to Oliver Brown (that’s a shop 😛 ) to get a cake for Arjun, she needed to go, you know GO 😀 I suggested the roadside, but she politely refused saying it’s so Gandaaa 😀 Then she insisted I drive home really fast like Arjun did, because I have to catch a su-suuu 😛 😀 What do I tell you of the uproarious laughter that accompanied us all the way, and I mean all ALL the way home! It’s still a miracle that the su-suuu didn’t leak out with all the laughter! No accidents, of any sort happened that day, rest assured!

Contd., on 2 August, 2019

The writer’s block has decided to let me have a window, rather symbolically, this, and pun intended and all that, on my laptop, 😛 😛 to finish Naina’s long overdue blog, four months on – just to prove that each day is a lovely birthday!

So here goes, darling Ickle Naina (not so much ickle but the icklest you’ll always be, for me! ❤ )

Post 27 April, I can say with all my heart, I love you 3000 and more, and always will! This one is for you, my darling – and it’s never too late to celebrate you, or early either!

God bless, always!

28 March, 2020, a whole year of posting this too!

For 2019 and 2020

I love you 3000 my darlingest Naina! 

Her Birthday blogs:

ONE-2015 (LINK)
TWO-2016 (LINK)
THREE-2017 (LINK)
FOUR – 2018 (LINK)

This one is FIVE and SIX

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The Bees’ Knees

That is, quite enquivocally, what you are, to me, and a whole lot of others. 🙂 Who? We’ll come to that soon enough 😀 That is the way of this blog, and rambler. Together, they kind of mess up your reading skills 😛

I first heard this expression at a workshop in Kochi, where the resource person was an Englishman, a Prof. Richard Something or Other (do excuse me for not being able to recall – I hate that about myself :/ ), conducted by the ABS – Association of British Scholars (??? I think 🙂 ) in association with the British Council, I do recall. We, the thirty plus number of participants, were given a worksheet with several expressions in English, many quite obscure, and vastly underused hereabouts, and were asked to match them with their meanings. Yep, teachers doing match the following. No one was able to score an excellent 😛 Go on, rejoice at how them dratted English teachers got their comeuppance from a Sahib  😛 Serves them right, no?! 😀

Errr, back to the bees’ knees. Clearly we weren’t that. But it still remains in my mind as being one of the most delightful sessions at a workshop where you had a native speaker giving you the inside stories and the inflections of language and usage. Like a bat out of hell was another that caught my fancy…. Deep sigh. 😀

Oopsie, here I go again, rambling 😀 So, ummm, where was I? Oh yes, the who/what/how about the bees’ knees. Yeah, I’m working this one to death, aren’t I? As if them bees aren’t already working enough! 😀

So, bees? Yep they’re busy alright, and give us honey. Pack a sting too! So etymology (excuse me, while I break into laughter, that perhaps only Ashwin, Arjun and I can fully appreciate, since it is part of the spelling bee mimic’s repertoire 😛 😀 ) – apparently the bee collects/stores the pollen in its knees, and we know what a good thing that is right? From the etymology (teacher in full flow, pliss to note 😛 ) it is to be understood that the bees’ knees refers to something that is wonderful, excellent, very good…. you get the drift 😛

That’s it? Okay, you probably wonder. Do you? Then you aren’t a regular here. Avoid, confuse, then cause bedlam of thoughts and words and notions, is how this rambler works, sometimes 😀 We’re not done yet, that is what I mean 🙂 I mean heck! I haven’t even begun (past 400 words now, in case you need to split from this screen 😛 )

I’ll try and make this easy. He’s the bees knees, he is. A wonderful human, which in turn takes care of everything, does it not. Who’s knee at the moment is undergoing a bit of errr…. reconstruction 😀 You see how I couldn’t not call him the bees knees? He’s known to be a laid back Bahubali (the juniors have given him that title – so that makes me, who? Sivagami! Woah! Thank you Bwoys 😀 ) , someone who’s got everyone’s back, even if his knee is put to risk. Well, he’s the Bees Knees ain’t he? Whether he’s gunning away, full throttle, or easing to an idle, and lazing, binge watching, minding his babies, the right mixture of goofy sport and firm instructions, having a blast with his friends or holding the fort at the Ship, thwacking the youngsters there, or giving them some good advice, rollicking away – through it all one word stands out, which, at one point both he and I would have pooh-poohed 😛 Workaholic? Ask him and he’d certainly deny it, but I know that that is the perception, at least among quite a few.

And of course, as he has said, the secret of him being that way? “Chicken” he answered recently 😀 Whatever, it be, I know that he is the one Sane and Sensible voice in our rather zany family, though he too can collapse into bedlam at any given point! It’s been quite a year, altogether, from last year 🙂 He’s got another lovely daughter, Naira, a more articulate elder daughter, Naina, a beautiful gorgeous partner, Parukutty, and the love of good friends and family 🙂 Apart from a torn ACL, left knee (basketball match ), which had to be reconstructed 🙂 He’s got some much needed rest, and is still to recover completely. However, does that stop him being AWESOME? 😀 😀 😛

Nothing ever will, for this unstoppable offspring o’mine!

Happy day, I know it was, Arjun! Wishing you health, happiness, much more joy that your heart can hold, warm giggles with your girls, and great great times, where you’re headed! Love you to bits!

These are pictures from an early birthday celebration, as he goes in for his review for his knee 🙂

12 April, 2018, Arjun’s birthday 🙂

More from the previous years, here 🙂

2017

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011, and this 2011 again!
2010
And more if you just click HERE 🙂


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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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Cheers Mate!!

… is a common enough expression, where he’s at. He uses it often enough, aptly enough, and for me, watching him conduct his conversations… he uses it amazingly enough. 🙂

This here, is the young lad who clung to his momma as a wee one, refusing to let anyone other than close family, literally close 🙂 He is our Chotu, his father’s Kunjunni, Ash, Ashwin as he grew older… with a whole lot of other names I’m sure I do not want to know 😛 😛 You know how it is!!!

From a shy Lion cub, to the engaging, handsome Lion he now is, his has been a journey of fortitude and determination. Today I remember, with pride, and a rush of such love, some of those times that brought to the fore, the quiet cub being transformed, as a revelation!

How he blossomed from the young lad who couldn’t speak up confidently, to someone who regularly took part in Recitation and Gita Chanting programmes, much to my delight, and his, I’d like to believe 🙂 A quantum leap in self – confidence, all wrought by himself. 🙂

How he took up the reins of leadership with his cousin, as House Captain, Vikramsila (and me now being Viswabharati House In Charge 😛 ) ensuring that they were champions that year 🙂

Being unfazed by a 5 digit rank at the entrance, and finding his way to the Course and College he intended to join, albeit not a Government College! But what the heck, it was what he wanted 😀

There had been no looking back since then. College, friends, football, crazy drives, falling in love, getting to keep that love close ❤ – he’s made so much work for himself 🙂

Most of all, making a move to a time and space that wasn’t a comfort zone. If you knew my lion cub like I do know, you would know how difficult that had to be! Leos like to be in charge, and this one was anything but, during that rather testing time of life, when he moved to Australia, where his partner (in crime 😛 ) Neeti was . Long months of patience paid off, and he, through his own application to the tasks at hand, carved a niche for himself, and found himself a job 🙂 It took time, but he did get there…

But most of all, it is the wide eyed wonder of the child in him, the easy possessiveness of his “Ammakutty” that I treasure 🙂 We fight, we argue, we gossip, we even have the most mushy conversation moms and sons have…. and at the end of it all, I’m just so glad I have him, almost parent like in the way he cares 😀 Turned tables on me, he has 🙂

Who he is today, is also because he, clever as he is, has found the spark to the fire that burns bright in him… his lovely lovely partner, Neeti 🙂 Their story is here (LINK)

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Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs is an entertaining read, which , if one reads with an open mind, does lead one to discover a fair amount of similarities to personality types of the different Zodiac Signs. 🙂 About the Leo Child she has this to say. Interesting, given that this is about a Leo Child ❤

“Remember that he’ll pretend to be very brave, but secretly fears he isn’t. Hug him tightly every night and love him with all your heart.”

Today, suddenly, this thought comes to mind, for all the courage of his convictions he’s had, and still has, there is this cub I want to hug real tight, to tell him, yes, it’s going to be okay ❤ ❤

It’s another special day for him, my second born, my Chots, my Ashwin ❤

 

Happy birthday dearest Chots, from all of us! You’re wished a lovely day, a lovelier year ahead 🙂 You’re wished laughter and good company of friends and loved ones. You’re wished endless supplies of all that makes you sweet and happy (this is as much for Neeti too 😛 ) You’ll always be wished so much love, so much love that you catch your breath at the sheer volume of affection pouring down upon you ❤ You’re special, my dearest bachchaa, and nothing ever, is going to change that 🙂 And may you always be enveloped by the benediction of blessings and prayers as you and Neeti voyage on 🙂 ❤

 

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I miss you so! Love you Chots… May this be the awesomest year yet! God Bless!

So here’s this song, that I found on a random search 😛 Okay, not really random, but it was chosen from a list I keep going back to, each year. It has a 100 songs, that list. Should help, I guess!

Enjoy this sweet sweet melody, my dearest Achukutts 🙂 ❤ I love you so!

Cheers Mate!!! Let’s get a Foster’s, shall we? 😀

2 August, 2017, for 3 August, 2017

Earlier Blog Tradition blogs for Ashwin, each year, are here 🙂

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

 


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A Light in the darkest sky :)

That’s how I’ll always picture her.

How she’s been, all these years, mere numbers, if I were to count them, I’ve known her. Not just a few years but an aeon, more, lifetimes.

A firebrand. A friend. A passionate writer. A sensitive, yet fun teacher. A grounded mom. A friend you can call anytime and vent and rant, and she’ll fiercely hold you close to her heart while you do so.

The virtual world throws at you the fanciest and the funniest and the scariest and the most comforting. She’s all that. Ooops, sorry, not the scariest. Never. Ever. Shooo … That was a slip of the keys 🙂

She’s one of the reasons I find smiles easy, when I’m in a spot 🙂

She’s easy to talk to, and I know that even if we talk maybe months later, we’d still pick up that line we left off at and guffaw to our hearts’ content 🙂

You’ll know, when you interact with her, that her heart is in the right place. A place you’re invited to, with warmth, with the effervescence of her beautiful smile.

She’s the most generous of souls, with her time, her laughter, her patient listening heart, her acceptance of what she might never try to impose… and most of all, a firm and assertive person, who, despite all you say, will accept, even if she she doesn’t agree. Agree to disagree 🙂 A lesson on how to do it, in as unobtrusive a way, and a yet a way that makes it work… 🙂

She inspires. As a person, a kind kind loveable loving person. As a friend. As a teacher. As a young mother of an adorable lad, who we, a group of us call Laddoo Gopal ❤

She’s Indyeah (LINK). She’s My Meggie (LINK). She’s Abhi, my friend.  Enchanting. (LINK)(Yeah that is enough to make her awesome 😛 )

A beautiful, warm human, gorgeous to boot, with a Lioness’ mane and eyes that sparkle, a lilting laugh, and words which giggle out when we talk 🙂

You’ve met her before, here, in all those links 🙂

Abby, Abhilasha, Meggie… and she celebrates another beautiful day today. Her birthday!

Happy Birthday, dearest Meggie. Love, laughter, rainbows, chocolates, fairy tales, and savouries…. along with a whole host of dreams, all in good health and cheer… may these be yours, this day, the coming year, and ever more.

Love you sweetheart ❤ You’re one of the best!

2 August, 2017