A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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One, and the Show Has Just Begun!

Exactly a year ago, round about this time (1120 ish pm ๐Ÿ™‚ ) the twinges started. She stayed put though. Just tiny stirrings, but nothing to heave about ๐Ÿ˜› Till the next morning when it was confirmed that she was getting into the groove ๐Ÿ˜€ She led her mom a not so happy dance, but finally showed up late into the night, much to the delight of her big Sister, Naina, her parents and grandmoms ๐Ÿ™‚

SHE showed up. We were ALL very certain, that it would be aย HE,ย  don’t ask how. My thinking was, given the time that the doctors and the scans told us, this was a Made in Thrissur edition, so for some strange reason, it had to beย HE. Plus a certain calculation of the appearance of the Momma. I’ve never been wrong.ย Oh wait! I have, I have. Just once before. With my ownย ๐Ÿ˜› So sure was I that I was going to have a baby girl, that I asked the doctor to check, once he informed me that my second one was a baby boy. And this girl is the spitting image of her father ๐Ÿ˜› Some miscalculation there! ๐Ÿ˜€

Paru had better sense and trust I know. He/She, it really didn’t matter, though it has cured me of my wish to try and predict the boy / girl thingy these days. Loss of faith ๐Ÿ˜€

So, yeah, this one, this ONE (hint hint hintย ๐Ÿ˜€ ) was as cool as they come. Except that babies don’t come cool ๐Ÿ™‚ Not in the height of summer. But darling Naira, to whom this blog is dedicated, was/is a pretty cool customer ๐Ÿ™‚ For one thing, her parents (and grammies) were more experienced, and on top of the situation, and second, she had a great big sister to keep her sweet ๐Ÿ™‚

Like her mother, and her paternal grandmother (as babies ๐Ÿ˜› ), Naira has been really un-fussy. Her parents were boss, the rest of the family adoringly hers. She took to the car seat very young, and began her independently seated travel within three weeks. So easeful was it, that her mother could actually drive both kids around, by herself. So proud of you Paru, for that ๐Ÿ™‚

Someone said, through a meme, recently, that the second borns are usually more troublesome. I’d say awesome is a better word. (Yes, I’m second born ๐Ÿ˜› ) My second born would agree, as would Naira’s mom. ๐Ÿ˜› Weย are really good babies. We love our Moms and Dads a LOT. More than the others. So much that we might just burst into tears if you just so looked at us. We’reย sweet ๐Ÿ˜€

Naira is as laid back as they come. She took her time turning over on to her tummy, by about the end of the fifth month. Decided teeth were a problem and held off till the eleventh month, when she finally thought that her crawling might actually gladden othersย  – particularly her maternal grandmom ๐Ÿ˜€ Till then she was comfortable doing a little Michael Jackson-ish backward creeping/swimming, but getting to where she wanted anyway!

Through the nearly 3 weeks I spent in her company in March, I was sure that she would crawl one day, and give me the high of cheering her on. She waited, (did I mention she’s a cool customer? ๐Ÿ˜› I know, I did ::D ) she waited, and slowly got on her knees. Then swayed gently, and lay flat again, on her tummy. She waited till the 2nd of April to finally move forward on her knees. Duh. She waited, oh yes, she did, till I left, to do that ๐Ÿ˜€ But once she found out about the pace she could use, there has been no stopping her ๐Ÿ™‚ She also decided to show a couple of teeth, finally, so that all that murmuring around her would cease ๐Ÿ˜€

Naira means the shining one, the brilliant one. And she is all of that. A cheerful soul, smiles easily (now), and keeps you at arms distance if you are a stranger. Till she sees you regularly around her, she’ll smile, but keep her distance. Such a radical change from her friendly elder sister, Naina. ๐Ÿ™‚

Naira, the second born is a determined young lass, already. She determines things right now, and somehow or other it does go her way. She calls you with a commanding Aeyyyy! Smiles when you respond, and gifts you a rare chance to carry her, just to please you, if you please her and let her be, initially ๐Ÿ™‚

Babies do sense a lot about a person, and can hold back if you are too forthcoming. Patience is rewarded soon enough. This, I have noticed in the most startling way with this wee darling.

 

She’s one, today, the 16th of May, 2018. A day she will spend with her close family, since her Dad’s still on his way to meet her, having been transferred, and therefore being on the move.

Happy birthday, my darling gurl, our Naira โค You are wished much joy, and laughter. Happy times, fun times and the all encompassing love of family and friends that hounds you, scaffolds you, sustains you, surrounds you all the time!

Stay this cool always. This zany. With the brilliance of your beautiful smile zapping all those who meet you โค

All our love, dearest Naira! Happy happy birthday to you!

16 May, 2018

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The Bees’ Knees

That is, quite enquivocally, what you are, to me, and a whole lot of others. ๐Ÿ™‚ Who? We’ll come to that soon enough ๐Ÿ˜€ That is theย way of this blog, and rambler. Together, they kind of mess up your reading skills ๐Ÿ˜›

I first heard this expression at a workshop in Kochi, where the resource person was an Englishman, a Prof. Richardย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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 doingย match the following. No one was able to score an excellent ๐Ÿ˜›ย Go on, rejoice at how them dratted English teachers got their comeuppance from a Sahibย  ๐Ÿ˜›ย Serves them right, no?!ย ๐Ÿ˜€

Errr, back to theย 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.ย Like a bat out of hell was another that caught my fancy…. Deep sigh. ๐Ÿ˜€

Oopsie, here I go again, rambling ๐Ÿ˜€ So, ummm, where was I? Oh yes, the who/what/how about the bees’ knees.ย Yeah, I’m working this one to death, aren’t I? As if them bees aren’t already working enough! ๐Ÿ˜€

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 repertoireย ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜€ ) – 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 noteย ๐Ÿ˜› ) it is to be understood thatย the bees’ knees refers to something that is wonderful, excellent, very good….ย you get the driftย ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ We’re not done yet, that is what I mean ๐Ÿ™‚ I mean heck! I haven’t even begun (past 400 words now, in case you need to split from this screen ๐Ÿ˜› )

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ ) , 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 ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Apart from a torn ACL, left knee (basketball match ), which had to be reconstructed ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s got some much needed rest, and is still to recover completely. However, does that stop him being AWESOME? ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

12 April, 2018, Arjun’s birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

More from the previous years, here ๐Ÿ™‚

2017

2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011, and thisย 2011ย again!
2010
And more if you just clickย HEREย ๐Ÿ™‚


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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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

(Long long post alert* ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ – Links at the end of this piece – if you do get to the end of it ๐Ÿ™‚ ) 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ my Sun Child!ย 

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, ๐Ÿ˜› , wouldย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ And that amazes me, even now ๐Ÿ™‚

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 Mahnnย 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.ย 

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 talkingย to them,ย forย them,ย amongย  them, and to Ammumma in between ๐Ÿ˜› There is never a break in the flow of the conversation, which is fast paced, fluent, and inย English!ย Oh Mahnnn I think! So these friends of hers are diving, swimming, jumping from bucket to mug and back again, splashing, flying… andย talking ALL THE TIME!ย  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! ๐Ÿ˜€ )

But Ammumma, Flutter fly is being naughty today!

Fffllllutter who? What?ย 

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 letย Flutter Flyย  decide she needs to come out ๐Ÿ˜›

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? ๐Ÿ˜€

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!ย This was in a high pitched Pony-voiceย  ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ˜€ ), youย ‘ckoldedย  her!ย  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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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,ย Oh Mahnn , we’re in for it!ย It’s NOT funny! She fumes!ย 

And her puh-tend games, oh my oh my!ย I’m just puh-tending Ammumma is a favourite escape route for many a mischief she plays ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

I love how I can conduct a ‘gwon up’ conversation with her, and make sense of it, both to her and myself.ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜› And she asks for ‘godi” – or to be carried. And I heave a sigh of relief ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

The other day, she carried one of her toys around, and told her mother that she, the toy, had a baby in her tummy ๐Ÿ˜€ She also said she’s going to get the baby out by making a C on her tummy and getting it out ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

For never ever giving up on those that don’tย behave!

For telling me that talking talking talking is the way to do things ๐Ÿ™‚

For helping me understand that my framework of expectations needs to be set aside, and we can frame the rules, as we go along ๐Ÿ™‚

For still loving me, with that supreme knowledge that I love her as much, if not more ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

She’s four already, today ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy Birthday, my dearest darling Naina! You make our world immensely enchanting, you, you, you… 4 sometimes going on 14 m-m-m-millenial ๐Ÿ˜›

I love you, gurl! โค

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 โค

PS The Grandparent Manual essentials, discussed in her Blog, when she turned TWO, still hold good, even if wee Naira has made an appearance ๐Ÿ˜€

Her Birthday Blogs are here ๐Ÿ™‚

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

Nearly 2000 words! ๐Ÿ™‚


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Five Star

…rating? Place? Whaaat? As always, the rambler here (she always talks of herself first, pliss to note ๐Ÿ˜› ) has a round about way of putting things across, as she thinks she’s being entertaining, letting you in on rather unconnected rambling (is there any other kind? ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and then triumphantly telling you,ย see, see? This is where we were headed, all along!! Yeah, I know. She’s weird. Wacky too. And now that she’s talking of herself in the third person, she’s fit to be certified too. She is. ๐Ÿ˜€

It’s a five star day, a five star occasion, and more….for a couple who transcend all this in terms of who they are, their shining selves ๐Ÿ™‚ Ahem. Now you’re wondering (actually, you know already, but you’re willing to give this rambler a long long rope to …. anchor you? ๐Ÿ˜› ) who these paragons of everything could be? I’ll let you think a while longer,while I go on to telling you some more. (No, not of me, or my meandering intentions! That’s the surest way to lose a reader here ๐Ÿ˜€ )

Stars. While on the topic of stars, I must tell you of the link I came across, thanks to Rashmee’s share of the same. I love the Orion Constellation (mainly because that’s the only one I can figure out ๐Ÿ˜€ ) and finding Orion in the headline of that link, was a sure draw… apparently, the Orion Belt is a place where several baby stars are forming, and being sent out ๐Ÿ™‚ Such a delightful picture no? So appropriate here too… ๐Ÿ™‚ But, yes, as you want to remind me, that’s out there in Space, the Final Frontier (heh heh heh … the insane tripe here simply does not let up, no? I’m having a ball, even though it’s at the expense of the reader… very costly for a blogger, who rarely blogs, and has a small amount of readers, right now, but then, remember? Weird, wacky? ๐Ÿ˜› ).

There’s this notion that’s been around in me head, about how there are universes in us, around us (duh) – and we create them too. The breadth of this thought, quite covers everything, as cliched as it is, and any post on it would be verbal diarrhoea, So, I shall restrain myself, for this post is about stars, five stars, and stardust and faery fancies too!

Onward to the darling two, and the Star Rating on them ๐Ÿ™‚ Five stars, is the standard, more or less, for the perfection, excellence, quality…. yada yada, ain’t it? We’ve never gone by the levels set by others, have we, as a family? So why this now? Bas, sometimes, there is this worthwhile, nice, round number, five, and stars, to boot, and it fits, the boot and the name, to the occasion, so yeah, let’s, I decided ๐Ÿ˜€ (Puns galore, Chots!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ )

1

So here goes, the reasons I know you two areย โ‡‘โ‡‘โ‡‘โ‡‘โ‡‘โ‡‘โ‡‘ them stars up there… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • For you two, separately, and together, you’re gold, and stars, in our lives, you are! Precious, precious… even though I’m reminded of the dialogue from “The Lion King”, between Pumba and Timon. Timon’s words, actually ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜€ *giggling away*
  • For the love you have for us!
  • For the sheer amount of work you do… out there, at least … hehehe! JK ๐Ÿ˜€
  • For the dreams you hold precious, and work slowly and sure, towards them ๐Ÿ™‚
  • For all those times you take care, of us ๐Ÿ™‚ Of each other, the bestest way you know!

And most of all, for who you are, to each other, every single moment! Enriching each other,ย  carrying each other, when needed, on the roads you journey; for the love that shines out from your eyes, your whole selves; for having each other’s backs, for all that you ARE. You are, and that’s all there is to that!

Happy fifth anniversary, Neeti and Ashwin, my baby bachchaas โค โค

You are stardust, precious, magical entities, who wreak love into our lives ๐Ÿ™‚ Stay so, just so, always!

And here’s the song dedications to both of you, this time, and I see you singing this to each other ๐Ÿ™‚ Part of the list of my favourite songs, both of them ๐Ÿ™‚ For my precious Five Star Couple!!!

 

 

This is you two, to each other… โคย 

 

Love you, endlessly, infinitely, absolutely! Wishes and love from all of your loved ones too!

Over the years, this blog has celebrated them, in the links given below ๐Ÿ™‚ Click on the year and be taken to that year ๐Ÿ™‚

2017

2016ย 

2015

2014

14 January, 2018

First post on this blog this year โค


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Kuttan – Alpha Everything :)

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

His mother then went on to have another six babies over the next four hours. Gently heaving, an experienced mother, by the end of it all. All the while the other mother watched helped, and was the mid-wife. ๐Ÿ™‚ The babies were healthy, jostling and suckling her immediately. But that first one, that Alpha Male, he was already earmarked – he’d always be hers, other than his own mother’s, his Amma’s own special brat.

And so it came to be, he stayed with his Amma, and his birth mother Paru, those first three months, after which his mother, Paru, went back to Cpl, her “tharavaad” to her Ammumma (my mother), and he, the Alpha, stayed on, with is Amma, his brothers, and his older sister, Chinnu ๐Ÿ™‚ (LINK)

 

The Menagerie*

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

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

12 December, 2017

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

IMG_20160818_212514

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Alpha, my alpha everything, as you know, by this time, is my very own Kuttan. Naughty, mischievous, rambunctious, bordering on aggression, sometimes too often, needing to be cautioned, monitored and occasionally whacked ๐Ÿ˜€ a bit, he grew up, as kids who are loved deeply and unconditionally do – with supreme confidence in himself, and ready for anything!

Even in the face of dire warnings and well-meaning advice, his Amma never let him go. She never spoiled him, though it seemed like that to his Ammumz! Well, when you’ve got an awesome personality, with an edge of energy, you gotta show it, right? ๐Ÿ˜› That’s one question that always bubbled over from his raised (invisible) eyebrow look! He even added a low growl for good effect. You don’t mess with me, was is USP, especially nights. Except his Amma, no one was tolerated within 10 m., once he’d had his dinner, and had settled down on Amma’s bed for the night.

But we’re getting ahead of the story. When his mother, Paru, returned to the ‘tharavaad’, and his siblings all found loving homes, his Amma, despite much advice against it, decided she wasn’t letting his go. He knew that he owned her, from that moment on. He did own her heart, and would do anything for her – including listening to her, to shut the eff up, when he got aggressive with the others – Chinnu, Appu, or even his mom Paru. His Amma said so, so he would. ๐Ÿ™‚

As all young boys, he had much energy, kinetic, potential, what you name it, and expended that energy by scaling the compound wall and going off for a walk/run on his own. If he was allowed to wander on his own, in the walled in compound, or if by accident, the gates were left open, he’d be off in a shot, like a bat out of hell, particularly if there were cats in the vicinity. His racial memories had these lores of what enemies cats were, and he couldn’t help but be conditioned by it, and set about cleanly finishing the few he came across, who were no match for his lightning speed! (Wait! he must have wondered, as I do, if he had some feline blood in him to move so fast? Naah! he must have answered to him self too!!! ๐Ÿ˜› )

Now comes the twist in the tale, if indeed he wasย CAT! Because, how does one explain his bonding with the cats at home?! M’mzelle Malu (LINK), Mia, her kitten?! How! That’s a question his Amma, and his family wondered… He never did though, it would seem. They, them cats, were family, weren’t they? DUH! ๐Ÿ˜› You always got you family’s back, doncha?! You sure do! Even if they were cats! Because, here’s the thing see – the members of this family are the same – pretty much human, though some of them take the form of a cat, dog, squrrel, or occasionally as has happened, a bird or a bat!

Thus happened, the seemingly impossible. The Mellowing, the Meaowing too, to put it lamely, of The Kuttan! Mia Arrived dramatically, a rescue cat, scrawny, feisty, even though she fit into the palm of my hand when I brought her home, it was clear immediately who was boss! She had to be bottle fed, the first few weeks with me. Kuttan now had a constant companion, too, out on our long drives… Mia was as unfeline, and Kuttan was uncanine ๐Ÿ˜› Maybe that’s one of the reasons they got along so well together! Err, did I tell you? Yes, we are a ratherย hatke family! ๐Ÿ˜›

Those rides with Kuttan and Mia, in my AK 47 (car, duh!) are legendary! Initially Mia travelled, protesting all the way, in a wee basket, with constant chatter from me to keep her comfy. Kuttan got the back seat, Mia up front, in her basket. In time, Mia began protesting in earnest and therefore was permitted to roam the car- she wasn’t very uncomfortable, but neither was she fully comfortable, though she accepted the rides well enough. She would roam around, plonk herself on my lap, sometimes rest her head on my shoulder, or sit behind my feet, that were on the pedals of the car. Sometimes she’d be at the window, looking out… Closed spaces and cats do not go well together ๐Ÿ™‚

Eventually, in the nearly one and half years of to and fro travel, we decided that Mia would stay at my parents’ place since she loved the sprawling compound and open spaces there, and far safer from the stray cats that thronged my own neighbourhood in the city. I must also mention that in the intervening period, she had three kitten, and they were old enough to be on their own – in fact she had practically given my home to her kitten and became an infrequent visitor, when we planned to shift her to my parents, where she was extremely comfortable ๐Ÿ™‚

This was nearly three years ago. Kuttan had grown more quiet, mature, and was becoming a model of good behaviour, except for the nights ๐Ÿ˜› He and Appu, the males in the family, were constantly at logger heads, and came to actual fights many a time when they were younger, but had grown accustomed to each other, and tolerated each other better, as the years passed. In the meantime, his best friend, Chinnu, had gone ahead to pets paradise, in 2013. It was him,Mia and I, till her kittens came along.

Wiser, older, and yet his Amma’s Kuttan, that’s who he came to be. Each morning as she left for work, he’d see her off, standing by the window, and each evening he’d be up at the balcony, to greet her, with his own signature greeting… An oooooooo, OOOOOOOOO…. following by happy high pitched appealing barking ๐Ÿ™‚ His Amma still looks up at the place, each day when she returns, and hears it, even though he remains unseen … Her heart knows , and isn’t that finally what matters?

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

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

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

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

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

He’s in a better place, oh yes, he is! And what is that final goodbye, but just a liminal, I tell myself, knowing that we’d meet again, some other lifetime, after we meet at the Rainbow Bridge, that is ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s here, with me, for as they say, those who die, are never gone, not when you carry them in your heart โค and see them around you, talk, as often as you can to them.

Yesterday, I watched, for the first time (I know I’ll watch that one more times yet!) “Cloud Atlas”, and was struck by some of the wisdom in the beautiful writing of that script ๐Ÿ™‚ Like these, for each of them leads me to believe, I’ve not finished my time with Kuttan!

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

***

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

***

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

***

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

I know he and the gang are waiting at the rainbow bridge ๐Ÿ™‚ And that he’s happy with them, up there! It’s never goodbye, you know… for you’re always with me, Kutts!

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

25 December, 2017

Labour of love โค