A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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Of pigtails and Pig Tales :)

There are certain days, certain people, and certain occasions, for who/which this rambler goes sincerely crazy. Otherwise, she’s just… weird. Yep, this rambler is certified… and she’s also oxymoron 😛
Like in the current flavour of the month (hers-movie wise), where I am at, this movie Moana, she (Moana)  asks her Grandma:
Moana: Why are you acting weird?
Gramma Tala: I’m the village crazy lady. That’s my job.
Kind of sums me up, you’d agree 😀 I’ve watched that movie, most of it, at least three times a day, from 25th of this month. 😛 So I know! And when you do too, enough times, and have a faint personal knowledge, you shall most certainly nod your head in total agreement. In fact, you millennials would probably go… tots bro!
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Ammoomma Monkeying around 😛

Chalo. But this isn’t about the rambler, though she wouldn’t mind wearing pigtails all over again.
It’s about a wee lass, her grammie’s, her Ammumma’s “cutie pie”,  darling, “kujikutty”, her momma’s “chinnooomaaaa”, her Arjun’s delightful daughter. Naina. Duh. 😀
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Pigtails Poser!

That “cutie pie” in pigtails, she’s turning three today. Woah! I tell myself. Three! Wasn’t it just yesterday, around this time I was pretty much worried as hell, because Pratibha had to stay overnight in hospital because of a “false alarm”? When I was all ready to fly across here, on 9 April, because the baby was due only on 11 April? And a few hours into the day, about 9.30 in the morning, I receive a call (expecting Arjun to tell me that Pratibha is back at home!) saying “Amma, a girl!”  It beats me how I found the will (rules and regulations notwithstanding 😛 ) to stay on another week, almost, finish the required work at school, and then head to Nainuland, to hold her in my arms, on 5 April, 2014. Sigh. Sigh… *Wanders off into those memories*… ❤ ❤
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5 April, 2014!

Three years of unmitigated fun, ever’growing love, impossible amounts of laughter, all kinds there are, and the omnipresent, omniscient worry and anxiety, that comes when you have every spare inch of your thoughts filled with a prayer for the well being of this tiny, perfect (and you’d do battle with anyone who says otherwise 😛 ) girl who rules your heart. (Every other member of my family is going to go ballistic when they read this – a certain one for sure, but then the subject of this blog is equally all pervading in her influence, so that voice shall also be concomitant to the views expressed herein 😀 🙂 )
Awesomeness needs no captioning! 😛 …⇑⇑
Not to forget the never diminishing sense of wonder and amazement, the sheer pride that threatens to consume you 😛 when you speak endlessly (yes, grammies are like that, they can’t stop once they start !!!) about every tiny facet of this beautiful gorgeous girl! No matter that she giggles and bursts into a riot of laughter to tell you “You’re sho funny!!!” as you try and gracefully eat spaghetti, saying, Ammoomma eating wiggly worms (laughing uncontrollably…) Ammomma eating wiggly worms” She can call you any kind of names, and you’ll beam with joy that is bundle is actually saying those things! 😛
Sample this. A few friends visited on Sunday, and the conversation turned to children speaking. There were toddlers present, ranging from 1 – 3 years old, and we began to speak of how kids pick up language, English in particular. Nainu has never ceased to amaze us with her range and recollection and her apt usage of the words. Apparently, she was using the word “grumpy” (gwumpy, as she says) with understanding. And her mother was saying, “Arre, I didn’t even know there was a word called grumpy till I was in high school!” Yeah. That sums it up for many readers here as well, right?
So how did she manage this? Exposure to language (my pet soapbox topic 😛 ) She, I do believe, is the finest example I could give you on how you could pick up a language if you surround yourself with it, on your own 🙂 She listens to nursery rhymes, and watches a few films, repeatedly, when she isn’t engaged in role playing with her army of toys, cycling around the house in her tricycle, reading from the tiny books she has, and watching videos of her favourite… wait for it….PEPPA PIG AND HER FAMILY!!! The movies range from Nemo, Tangled, Frozen, and now MOANA! (Those who’ve been in my class will now understand why I would recommend movies, quite apart from their sheer entertainment value 😛 ) Also, Nainu has perhaps picked up the linguistically strong genes from her father too! 🙂
Just a couple of days ago, she  received a set of her Peppa Pig toys, the entire family, consisting of  (yes, I know them ALL!!) Peppa Pig, her brother Georgie Pig, Daddy Pig, Mamma Pig, Granpa Pig (who’s grumpy sometimes 😀 ) and Grandma Pig. She took down her Elsa doll, a toy that moves on wheels, singing away “Let it Go!” , placed Peppa’s family on the petal like protruding bits of the doll, at the base, twirled it, singing Let it Go!!, and toppled the whole family to the ground! She did let them go!
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Naina and her Peppa Pig Collection! The Little one in RED is Peppa Pig!

She speaks quite clearly, my wee lass does. She speaks in English too! Which constantly surprises us, because no one has ever even tried to get her to sample the words and sentences. But she tries, on her own, right or wrong, and is quite oblivious to the joy, and the freak out sessions we have (duh. I have… 😀 ) when I hear her! Once in the car, she asks, Where we going? Once she’s had enough of the outing – Leshsh go home!  At play time, in her grandparents home, her Naani’s home, she asked her cousin to  come out, with a Lets go and build sand castles!  in the sand pit they had outside their home! I mean, Woah Woah Woah, not yet three and she says, sand castles?
The mystery was solved as to her acquisition of that when I was introduced to her Peppa Pig, finally, when I visited her last month. That’s a delightful family of yes, Pigs 🙂 Them brainy brainy creatures, cute as buttons 🙂 Complete with excellent, proper English, in an English accent. 🙂 These are kids (Peppa and Georgie)  who question, are curious, and equally naughty! She loves them so much, that when she was asked about her Birthday and what she wanted, she said Peppa Pig – and now she is the proud owner of a set of them figures, a couple of mugs, a backpack, thanks to Nammu Aunty, and a set of 6 small books! The happy birthday party theme? Duh! 😛
(Random off topic diversion – there had been a link, I shared on Facebook, speaking of how Peppa Pig shows create disobedient children, and cause … of all the things… autism! Cripes! How do people even write such things! Thank you Neethu and Rehan for telling me about it too!)
I hope the title is clearer now. I’m a fan of the entire clan Peppa Pig’s too! I love how stereotypes are broken there, how each of those films she loves has so much to inspire, about following one’s heart, of being cheerful, of having a loving family! It matters so very much what children read and watch, so much! And at this point I cannot not tell you how proud I am of her parents, Arjun and Pratibha, for keeping her grounded, and giving her her head in so many matters, letting her decide too, tiny tiny decisions… 🙂 A shoutout to another amazing person in her life, her Class Teacher from her Yellow Class, in Play School! Sheetal, you are a wonderful wonderful, empathetic teacher, who reaches out and helps foster that spirit of confidence in the tiny tots in your care. I know for certain that you shall ever remain her most favourite teacher in a long long long time. (Psst. I’ll tell you a secret – I’m jealous of how she so utterly  loves you, and even runs to you and hugs you, endlessly 😛 But I’m also glad that her impression of teachers will always be positive, thanks to you! The other teachers in her life have a huge image to aspire to, definitely! 🙂 🙂 )
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Naina and her Sheetal Aunty  – How a Teacher-Student relationship goes beyond … 🙂

 

Yes, I’m waxing poetic here, I know, but that is how this grandmother is. Absolutely, completely, uncompromisingly nutty… about her grandottie!
At almost 1400 words, I still haven’t told you ALL about her. An epic sized book wouldn’t suffice, as any Grandparent would tell you, when it comes to their precious bundles of joy! But yes, let’s leave some for the days and years to come, shall we?
(I heard that Phew!! Thank God, we’re nearing the end of the tunnel kind of sigh of elation  😛 😛 )
Naina. That’s who this is all about. My darling, My Sweetie Pie Naina. My Kunjikutty. Her birthday is today 🙂
Happy Birthday, my darling Nainu! May warm marshmallowy moments, and soft sweet and chocolatey (she loves chocolate 😛 ) dreams fill your realms and keep you sweet. May the craziness and naughtiness you have lead you on to be bright and independent. May the stories you hear and the stories you weave continue to enthrall and delight (she’s quite the story teller, and loves loves loves to have you read to her!  Or read from her own collection of books ❤ )! May the colours (and boy oh boy!! you do know almost ALL of them) fill your life with rainbows of feelings, each one precious and each one a journey to your own self. May you be blessed with good health, and this same sunny disposition! And may you continue to enchant us all and keep us loved and loving ❤ ❤
Psst… Thank you to her lovely parents too! Arjun and Pratibha, who’ve consistently given me parenting lessons, all my grandma wisecracks notwithstanding 😛 , for their patience and encouragement, and letting her have her head, or reigning in her over enthusiastic explorations, when occasion warrants it 🙂 May you continue to do your job just as wonderfully…! Blessed be!
Sigh. Sigh. I love you Nainu! Happy birthday sweeti pie!
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28 March, 2017
Birthday Blogs for Naina ❤
2015 (LINK)
2016 (LINK)
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Renewal

(This one’s a sequel, if you wish. A write prompted by a dear reader’s “:(” and a “Whyyyy”! Yep. This rambler is certified… 🙂 And so, this came to be. Unbeknownst 🙂 )

Renewal (a sequel to Redemption)

(or, What were the Odds!)

She stumbled out of the slowly brightening hall. The credits had rolled out, a smattering of applause gathered momentum, and by the time she’d reached the exit, everyone was standing.

She paused at the door, turned, raised her hands and applauded. She saw him, at the end of the aisle, his parents beside him, Raksha behind. That endearing smile lit his face. She blew him a kiss, which he wouldn’t see anyway, and slipped out. The lobby was deserted. His favourite, this theatre used to be, from school, she remembered.

Glad and sad, she made her way outside, called an auto and fled before the others came. Straight to her hotel. She was booked for the early morning flight. Her goodbyes were done – even though he’d asked for her company at the post-screening informal do he’d arranged. She’d made non-committal noises but had already decided. He knew of course. He couldn’t not.

She was packed. With nothing but her thoughts for company – she felt undone, claustrophobic. Quickly changing into jeans, shirt and sneakers, she fled once again, this time to the park, where they had first met. A couple of introverts who somehow found the courage to smile at each other and talk. She had been in the city as a resource person for a couple of workshops on creative writing. Serendipity, it had to be, that he had been part of a group she worked with. What were the odds, she mused, that a decade on they’d remained friends; more than that, in the least clichéd way.

She’s watched, seen him grow, in confidence, find focus, despite the way life shattered pyrotechnically around him. As it had been for her as well. To have the luxury of owning yourself – with no lien of love, of another’s heart, was at once a tragedy as it was satisfying. She knew that wasn’t her state of being, but she was working towards it.

She walked past the park, to the road that bordered the sea. This was his favourite place. He’d mentioned it often, of taking her there, but it had never happened. Distances, physical distances, the obligation to life, to family, meant it hadn’t been possible. It was pretty much a miracle that they’d even been in touch over the years, and stayed close – mirrored thoughts, hopes, hearts even – both being in hopeless relationships with entirely different people! What were the odds, indeed! She smiled. Found a spot, relatively free, and watched the ocean, perched on the built up wall, with the rocks stretching beyond to meet the waves.

The ebb and surge, the gurgling, the splashing, that constant, hypnotic hum of the waves…she lost herself in it. She wasn’t sure how much time had elapsed, but she was at peace. She held her backpack on her lap, arms wrapped around it, chin resting on top of it. Wispy tendrils framed her face, her tired eyes at peace. The silence, despite the sounds around her, was tangible; almost as if she’d created a bubble of stillness around her.

A bubble of stillness, in which she sat, with that faraway look. These were his thoughts, as he stood a few feet away, watching intently, a warm smile in his eyes, a sigh of relief hovering, unreleased. He continued to stand, and watch- in a stance akin to communion, a prayer. He did so, knowing her to be oblivious even to the night, so alive around her bubble of solitude.

Uncharacteristically, he was lost for words. He did not want to impinge upon her peace, though he longed to smoothen her hair, those wispy tendrils, rest his hands on her shoulders and drop a kiss on the top of her head. A surge of love rushed, and overwhelmed him. With sudden clarity, he recognized it for what it was. What were the odds! It was as if her thoughts had sneaked into his.

In the three hours, post screening, he’d smiled and talked, and been a quiet, but genial host, receiving with gratitude the kind and fulsome words of appreciation. As soon as he was able, he’d beat a hasty retreat, knowing a sense of loss. Of someone. Raksha was beside herself with joy. He was glad for that – that was truly redemption – the dream they had had, had now come to fruition. Honestly the credit went to her, her indefatigable spirit in pushing him. As co-author and instigator, he made sure she’d shared all the credit, in large, bold letters and presence. Yes, he loved her, and would always do so. But her hold on him seemed to diminish, now that he was on the road to forgiveness, to himself. She got that dream of hers, made him work towards his, and now had a foothold for further progress. A certain peace flooded him, lightening his ever heavy heart, filling a vacuum carried too long.

At the same time, his palm tingled with reminiscent warmth. It was the first time she’d reached out in public to hold his hand, even though they were not the hand-holding type. His lips quirked into a grin, as he felt that familiar sense of security, whenever he thought of her. His rock of Gibraltar, that was what she’d been all along. If there was one thing she’d brought back to his life, it was laughter and trust.

He wouldn’t find that elsewhere. It was something he needed, right now.

She wasn’t at her hotel. Her cell phone was switched off. On a chance, he decided to go to the park. Nothing. There was only one place he found solace in all those troubled times. The shoreline. He decided to walk it down, and reaching, began to slowly savour the throbbing life this place always lent to his weary heart. As he walked, he felt that faint prickling at the back of his neck – seriously, it was such a dramatic moment that he nearly laughed out loud, involuntarily.

All those times they’d talked about this, that instinctive knowing, a gut feeling – all that played back, and he knew now what she meant. She was near. As incredible as it was, he simply knew it for real. Walking on, he found her bunched up, chin on backpack resting on her lap. She’d changed into the casual clothes she loved so much.

He stepped up to her, and did just exactly what he’d thought he would. Smoothened her hair, dropped his hands to her shoulders, and dropped a kiss on her head. Sat beside her.

She sighed. Smiled. Leaned into his shoulders, as he put an arm around her shoulders and tucked her head under his chin. This moment was theirs alone. His arm tightened as she snuggled close. He’d tell her, soon, how those demons would never again bother him much. If she’d stay.

She thought. Tonight. It would happen tonight. The inevitable recognition of a soulmate. She prayed for strength to leave; he, that she’d stay. She, fierce, headstrong, independent, kind.

That chasm of yearning, yawning between them, suddenly seemed bridgeable.

22 January, 2017
One of those things, again, that simply had to be.

 

 


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Redemption

In the quiet hush before the screen lit up, she slid her hand, quick, warm, and covered his, as it rested on his knee, his tension evident in the controlled drumming of his fingertips. His hand stilled, turned over, intertwined his fingers with hers, as their palms fitted perfectly into each others’.

She did not care if she was noticed. He never did worry about it anyway. But this moment, it was special. It was just as she imagined it, over the decade plus years from when she’d first visualized it. The ambiance, the feels.Apart from herself, there was Him, his dearest friends, Her, that line-up of family, critics he’d had to suck up to (his wry words!)

She knew too, he was taut, as a string, his emotions playing a concerto, with its slow rhythm, a build-up. All of it, she knew. How, she did not question or seek. Near or far, they’d been tuned into each other.

A resigned smile tugged at the corners of her lips – it wasn’t the soulmate variety, all mushy, though even that perhaps would fit. That smile widened at the thought, into a happy grin. She was glad they had each other, whatever part of each other that they could be, and give.

He’d often called her his muse’s bodyguard. A term, at once an endearment, and a reminder of her place, as the keeper of his sanity. His heart was branded with another’s pulse. His thoughts, though, were hers to seek and share. Just as she gave of hers.

Life, she mused, is just as complicated as you make it – a cliched line from a hackneyed Hindi film, of an aeon ago. She smiled again. She did not need to look at him, to know he wouldn’t, till it was over.

A weeping guitar serenaded titles, the acknowledgements, and then faces, voices, larger than life paintings came alive. She watched absorbed. For her, as with the others, this was a first time watch. Not sneak preview. She’d even avoided the trailer, deliberatedly.

On his other side, she could sense her tension too. Raksha’s.The muse creator. The instigator. The almost-give-up-er. Till he found his way back, to his dream, to her. She would always have his heart though.

A fond quote from a teacher, back in college flashed in her mind. The greatest tempation in life is to confuse dreams with reality. The greatest defeat in life is to surrender dreams to reality. Making sense of what to surrender, and what to pursue, therein lay the biggest challenge. She was simply glad he was discerning enough. He did.

A tear slid down her cheek. Followed by more, as she watched the way the story unfolded – the motif of the road, of a murmuration of swallows, bridges, the slow falling mist (not rising), the story of bridging a yawning chasm, of yearning, between star-crossed lovers. It was too real. It was her story, she realized, as she turned to him, in wonder.He turned that same instant. Tightened his fingers, slightly, warmly. And smiled. The first real smile, that day.

Through the haze of tears, she glimpsed the relief on his face. It was done. He was glad it went off well. For him. Now, of course, it was public – to be taken, torn, touted…as they wished. Knowing him, she knew what he felt, she, and Raksha did, about the film,  would be far greater than any other voice.

Her tears were her gift. Her critique. She leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, got up and left. He’d understand.

There were other dreams to redeem, for him. He would too. The healing had begun.

12 January, to 21 January, 2017

The Sequel (LINK)

Sometimes, so sometimes, there is a rush of the absurd, that will not let you be, till you let it loose. Here is best 🙂

 


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Trailer

Chapter ONE (LINK)

Chapter TWO (LINK)

This is the last of the three. 🙂

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This one is for Day#14 of #RamblingsInFebruary 🙂 Valentine’s day 🙂 So of course…!

Let’s go back to that Teaser (LINK) , and a story that burgeoned 🙂

Disclaimer: This blog is pure nonsense. All characters in this write are made up in part, and actual in part. Which is to say, don’t take them seriously. Take the notion of Love seriously though. 😀

The eavesdropper was intrigued. Yes, I’ve said that. So she (why not he? Who’s telling the so called story here, please? 😛 ) She, being she, who was privy to many a story shared by all manner of people, constantly surprised that they’d found something in her that called to their trust, decided to sniff around.

Turned out it wasn’t one of those puppy love tiffs she’d imagined. Oh, she was quite imaginative! You see, as I hear it, he had heard things about her -it doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to figure that out! (though having a degree in rocket science might sometimes get you to miss out on the obvious 😛 ) He’d heard she was being over friendly with a someone who he knew, deep inside, to be anything but chivalrous, though that guy pretended to be one! And he was MAD. They were best friends. Don’t smirk, please. There does exist a variety of people like that you know! And yes, to add to your fantasy, she was lovely, and he was quite a looker 😀 Cliche? Ah!

That’s Mishika, we’re talking about by the way. And he? Let’s guess, shall we? (Mishika is from here – Serendipity click on that to find out 😛 )

Mishika that day got words from him when he shared his angst at what he perceived to be irresponsible behaviour. She in turn was MAD because he did not trust her. There we have it, them trust issues. I mean, she thought, there wasn’t even a reason to even listen to someone say they were disappointed in you! Boo! She’d never cared about it, but when he said it, something hurt, and angered her. But looking at him, she knew it wasn’t jealousy but genuine concern!

Boys talk, Mishika!

Yeah yeah yeah. They’re worse gossips than those girls, and than women and women are labelled so! I refuse to be responsible for talk like that!

But remember that ride into the sunset, and things to do?

I, dear person, have not, and you haven’t either. What you have forgotten is who I am. To you. Have you, indeed? Sarcastically, this.

Aaarrrghhhh! Literally and poetically it is that time. And on this beach, sitting on these sands, I want to wax poetic too! I am, aren’t I? I don’t know how to handle talk, M. It’s as simple as that!

I have stories to write. To share. To learn from. People to meet. Who I shall, no matter what. I also cannot stand not being known and believed, most especially, by someone who I’ve always talked to. I’m now wondering what I am to you!

Gawd! Please don’t mouth the Hum Aapke Hain Kaun dialogue! Not that one! He cringed. Laughed comically. Giggled. 

She joined him. Then cocked her head, and asked anyway…

Hum Aapke hain kaun? Giggling. 

He put an arm around her, tucked her head into his shoulder, as both of hers wound around his waist, still giggling. I love that movie you know!

I do. It’s something I like too. Acquired taste from the company I keep. We belong together in ways I have only read about in poetry and ballads. 

Remember though that those ballads most often ended in tragedy! A tickle at his ribs.

Even so, Happy Valentine’s Day, darling!

Darling! Daaarling!!! Oooooh! Now we’re talking! Happy day to you too!

Quite indifferent to the gaze of other evening time visitors to the beach, these two sat companionably, and did not notice a bittersweet look sent their way from a distance. Raksh wondered how on Earth the storyline that should have been his, became that Nerd’s!

28 February, for Day 14 of Ramblings in February. 15 posts to go by tomorrow evening. Let’s see if this blog can manage that kind of flooding 😀

 

february ramblings


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Teaser

Is that what you thought about me?

No, not really, but one hears, you know.

One hears, yes, but you listened?

Well, I oughtn’t have, I know…

Damned right, I should say!

But, really, given what’s happened,

And what will…

Eh? Really! So what WILL?

I’ll simply go on being me, to you,
Even if you hear otherwise.

No matter what?

No matter what.

No riding into the sunset.
We’ve got lots to do by then!

Told you. So just listen, to me, won’t ya?

****

The eavesdropper of this conversation was intrigued. She’s yet to make a story of it. 😀

february ramblings

Day#8 of #RamblingsInFebruary 🙂

8 February, 2016

Chapter ONE (LINK)

This is Chapter TWO

Chapter THREE (LINK)