A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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Oh Mahnnn…

she exclaims, quite unconsciously, this being her constant epithet, when something does not go the way she wants it. The first time I heard it, a couple of weeks ago, I did a double take, and hesitantly asked her parents about what she has seen/heard, for her to use this danged expression. I was wondering at that point, if it would lead to less desirable expressions that her peers and she would find easy to absorb. Yep, typical overbearing elder mode here 😀 I was assured that whatever she watches/hears is supervised. And then a while later, that same day, she invited me to watch one of her favourite videos with her. It dawned on me then, YouTube Kids has quite a few of these videos where the girls talking seem to use this a lot. A lot. And that is how it crept into her expression 🙂

(Long long post alert* 🙂 )

And that is simple one part of it all.

Over the past four years, this rambler continues to be awed by this girl. The one who owns her heart as no one else has, or ever can, I know. It’s like me dear Meggie (LINK to her blog) says of how your first born will always hold the lion’s share of your affection; the first grandchild will also be the one who will always have you open-mouthed, in awe, at the way that tiny being keeps making you proud, and simple grows the love within you, in ways you think is beyond you. 🙂

So is it with mine. She does, all the time. Naina. My Kurumbiiii… The one I can talk to, endlessly, the one with whom I’m the child almost all the time, the one who I even quarrel with, with her asking me at the end of it, Ammumma, you don’t like me? – and me saying, Whaaat? I’ll always love you my darling! Because that is the fact!

Oh Mahnnn, I want to say, how can I not?! The best part here being that I can say that and she will understand! At two years, she joined the pre school they have, next door, and she was the littlest girl in the school itself (the admissions are given once they turn two. And they are admitted to the play school on 1 April. So One has to be two to join. She turned two on 28 March, a couple of years ago, and was just in time to join. I was extremely hesitant, and wondered how this wee mite would even spend the two hours she was to, without being traumatised. I mean, she could talk but her speech was yet to be clear and articulate! But given her cheerful and upbeat nature, she quickly took to school and its routine easily and went on to become quite at home there. All thanks to her first teacher, and the helpers there – Sheetal Aunty as she was known, and the “Amma”s there. The previous blogs for her, (ONE, TWO, THREE 🙂 – Links at the end of this piece – if you do get to the end of it 🙂 ) all have mentioned her ability to be the ray of sunshine wherever she goes. She is after all an Aries born, just like her father 🙂 my Sun Child! 

When school started, I wondered if her ability to communicate in English, which she has acquired by way of exposure to some delightful movies, the books she has read to her by her parents, and her funny grandmother, 😛 , would kind of be lost in the acquisition of other languages, primarily Hindi, because that is what most of the kids communicate in, when the class is comprised of children from different language backgrounds. But thankfully, she has maintained that level she acquired! No mean feat 🙂 And that amazes me, even now 🙂

I’ve been here with her for the last two weeks plus, and each day I continue to admire something more about her, the way she articulates. Oh Mahnn is what I want to say, while conversing with her. Bath times are the best, after play times, of course. Bath times take a long time too. You must realize that taking a bath is serious business, and mostly, for her it’s a communal thing.

Naina, lets go take a bath!

Ohhkaaeeiii Ammumma, let me get my bath toys.

No , no, there isn’t much time today! We’ve got to be quick. 

Ammumma, that’s not fair! My ponies have been waiting to join me!

Ammumma gives in, DUH! So we visit her toy room (it’s practically a toy godown now!) and figure who the lucky ones are. Once she’s got them, we get to the bath basics. Dunk them in water, all the while talking to them, for them, among  them, and to Ammumma in between 😛 There is never a break in the flow of the conversation, which is fast paced, fluent, and in EnglishOh Mahnnn I think! So these friends of hers are diving, swimming, jumping from bucket to mug and back again, splashing, flying… and talking ALL THE TIME!  When the Ammumma is sure that ALL of them are likely to catch cold with the amount of time being wet is considered, she orders them… oopsie, HER out. So one by one each of them staggers out from the bucket to the mug. Except one. (This happens EVERY single time! 😀 )

But Ammumma, Flutter fly is being naughty today!

Fffllllutter who? What? 

Ammumma, Flutter Fly, she doesn’t want to come out of the bucket!

Ammumma is getting impatient; she’s half wet already, her grandottie is completely wet, even her hair, and the chances of catching cold alarmingly rise, but she has to let Flutter Fly  decide she needs to come out 😛

Ammumma, Flutter Fly isn’t behaving herself!

Tell me, dear readers, how does one deal tactfully with that, and being awed by the proper use of words by this wee delight? 😀

Ammumma decided to reprimand the said pony, and sternly tells her that she won’t be allowed to join Naina’s bathtime EVER again!

Oh Please! Ammumma, I’ll jump out, I pwomise! This was in a high pitched Pony-voice  😀

On the way out, Naina jumps to the said pony’s defence and says Ammumma Flutter Fly is ‘kaared of you (consonant clusters are still a difficult area for the grandottie 😀 ), you ‘ckolded  her!  It’s not fair!

Ammumma gives up! This is bathtime. Each day, a different motley group of ‘friends’ join in, and there is ALWAYS ONE being that is naughty and will NOT jump out of the bucket! But yes, I don’t think there s anything the Ammumma Monkey can do about it 🙂

She has these ‘knock knock’ sessions too, when she comes in as a Salon Lady, the Furniture Person, a Doctor, and makes house calls. We are to join in the conversation. At the end if we were to giggle, oh my, Oh Mahnn , we’re in for it! It’s NOT funny! She fumes! 

And her puh-tend games, oh my oh my! I’m just puh-tending Ammumma is a favourite escape route for many a mischief she plays 😀

She’s curious, and if she hears a new word, she won’t let you be, till you explain it to her. The other day I remarked that she was observant. She asked. I said she noticed things, details, and spoke about them. Soon, that became part of her register 🙂

I love how I can conduct a ‘gwon up’ conversation with her, and make sense of it, both to her and myself. Oh Mahnnn I tell myself, she’s such an articulate soul already!

I worry too, about how she might not be understood, or make herself understood to others, the kids, maybe, the teacher, others like her Naani, who would find it difficult to follow English. But she had that covered too. With her less fluent Hindi 🙂 She knows to who she can speak in which language for optimum communication. I know you’ll wonder why I’m so chuffed about this ,when, probably, most kids can do so… I am so, precisely because most kids I’ve been around, as adorable as they are, do find this aspect a bit difficult. Yes, she has them strong linguistic genes, as I mentioned in last year’s blog, but with it she knows how to use it optimally too! That is a wee bit of maturity along with ability, wouldn’t you say?

And then to top it all, she goes right back to being the kiddish kid she is, not the gwon up I sometimes wonder she could be 😛 And she asks for ‘godi” – or to be carried. And I heave a sigh of relief 🙂

This past year, she became an elder sister, and while she still wants attention, she knows the little one does too, and helps much, so much with giving her that. Naira is as much her baby 🙂

The other day, she carried one of her toys around, and told her mother that she, the toy, had a baby in her tummy 😀 She also said she’s going to get the baby out by making a C on her tummy and getting it out 🙂 Another of those little videos for kids she’s seen. I am certainly looking forward to questions on how babies got to get placed inside the tummy and what answers we might have to give 😀 In fact she’s already decided that only Mummys get to have babies in the tummy, and not daddys, though her daddy might be an exception 😀 Intriguing, most certainly, this is!

So, Malayalam? I know a lot of you might wonder at that. Well at the moment, she knows ‘adi’. Workable knowledge like that is enough. Because finally, it’s all about being able to communicate, right? She’s got that pat 😛

Each time, each birthday, when I feel my heart is filled with love that it might fair burst, I find a capacity for more. She’s entirely responsible for that.

For keeping the child within alive.

For letting me know that sometimes puh-tending also is just fine 🙂

For never ever giving up on those that don’t behave!

For telling me that talking talking talking is the way to do things 🙂

For helping me understand that my framework of expectations needs to be set aside, and we can frame the rules, as we go along 🙂

For still loving me, with that supreme knowledge that I love her as much, if not more 🙂

For helping me appreciate my own offspring better, and understanding that a lot of things I got wrong, they;re doing right, by their kids.

That redemption, finally, is what your grandchildren give you.

She gives me that. I know I can’t have been all that bad, when I wake to her smile, and hold her close, as she sleeps, trustingly, in my arms.

She keeps me sane, that’s what she does. In a world gone crazy, she’s the brightness, and the cool shadows too… to rest this heart 🙂

She’s four already, today 🙂

Happy Birthday, my dearest darling Naina! You make our world immensely enchanting, you, you, you… 4 sometimes going on 14 m-m-m-millenial 😛

I love you, gurl! ❤

This is one of the videos I saw her watching, with much concentration, and interest. The best part is, she follows each of these conversations, and her articulation is very close.

28 March, 2018
Naina’s four ❤

PS The Grandparent Manual essentials, discussed in her Blog, when she turned TWO, still hold good, even if wee Naira has made an appearance 😀

Her Birthday Blogs are here 🙂

ONE-2015 (LINK)
TWO-2016 (LINK)
THREE-2017 (LINK)

Nearly 2000 words! 🙂

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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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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