A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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“Prime” Time

The blog titles here are totally inspired. In the cheesiest, wackiest, and unapologetically clickbaity ways. Dang it, I need readers, more than any of those online pages that anyway we’ll ALL visit, however blatantly or clandestinely 😛

In my defence, I must say that this title is about the Prime time of a well beloved offspring. If you’re new here, may I suggest that you read on? If you can’t go on with only so much, it’s perfectly okay to take a rain check. 😀 And regulars here,  the countables-on, I know they shall read and be kind. But, errr, let’s not dawdle, shall we? 😛

He was a you-may-not-even-LOOK-at-me baby, for what seemed the longest time, for Us. His parents, brother, a couple of his grandparents, of the full set he had, a couple of others he considered “friendlies” (I’m totally into the Designated Survivor series on Netflix, so you’ll have to put up with clichéd language here 😛 ), a baby that people so wanted to carry and cuddle, but one who would not co-operate with wishes. No Sireee! And then, somewhere round his 4th birthday or so, he decided to take charge and begin his journey as that cub who would take his Designated Place in the Social Jungle 😛 I can’t help it, the Designated thingy is overwhelming, and I’m glad I got that title already put there, or else even that would have Designated as part of it – who knows it still might infiltrate 😀 )

From that gwumpy baby to the young man he became through his high school and senior classes there, to being called “Smiling baby” (as a Senior in school, by one of my dearest colleagues there!) – it’s a classic textbook organic growth of a personality, and even today leaves me open-mouthed in admiration. (Yep, I’m like that – I like to look at my offspring and wonder where the heck they got that chutzpah!) I know, I know, I’ve kind of gone overboard before, about this one, (and the other one 😀 ), but I can never do that enough. That’s why we’re here again today. Kind of the day that his mother gets her blog back, and the words from the muse spring, that has been running dry for the longest time. Talking of him (and the Sun Child ) always makes me happy, and proud, for they’ve beaten those paths that they lead right now. Every single step. I’m merely their loudest cheerleader, with a free-style dance that no one would / could follow, or maybe even approve – you know, that balter- sidestep I do 😛

Happy birthday Ashwin!

Today he’s celebrating his birthday – in his happy place. Literally. A place he and his lovely partner aspired to, dreamt of, and worked to build. No one could be gladder that I, (except them, no one – we could have duels on it, and I will fight tooth – the few I have – nail – fast growing ones I have – and hair, the 5,689 strands I have! 😀 ) – but then today, I do not want to fight. For goodness sake, it’s the weekend, I’ve had a long week, and a longer one to come, and this is my window of peace! But yes, I’m his biggest fan, maybe I’ll share that with his partner Neeti, wonly, and maybe one more person, but that is it!

Ashwin, my Little One, you make me laugh every single day. You make me cry too, a lot, with the generosity of your words, your love, your unputdownable wacky witty jokes, with all that love that burgeons in my heart for you. You are precious, you are light and love, personified. I cannot begin to tell you of how PROUD I’ve been each step of the way you’ve journeyed, to this moment. And how, no matter what, I ALWAYS WILL BE.

Cannot sing this enough, for you – “You raise me up” in the soulful voice of Josh Groban.

Gosh. I do love you so. Happy birthday, Chots. Prayers and blessings, for today.

May the odds be ever in your favour.

3 August, 2019

Earlier, on this blog, for him, celebrating his birthday:

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

This one from here in 2012, and damn, that is what, 6 years back?! Woah. I am rather proud of myself, and will not hesitate to say it, today, for me

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

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

2009   2010 2011   2012  2013  2014  2015   2016  2017  2018


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Diggin’ Life

… I know he is. Where he is, and with the unputdownable, never-say-die attitude that has always been his USP. So, that’s a typical lion for you. My Cub-no-longer-Lion 😀 who’s at another threshold where he’s growing young as ever, though sometimes I do wonder who the parent is, between him and I 🙂 Told ya! There are several psychologists who seem to proclaim that thirty is NOT the new TWENTY, and while all those touching thirty have that urge to reassure themselves that this is just a number, to this one, I have in the family, it just doesn’t matter. 🙂

He’ll always remain who he is, to us, to each of us. Chotu, Kunjunni, Chots…. even to Naina, who calls him Chotu 😛 That’s because parent or no that he is most times, these days, to me, he’ll always be that little, energetic, enthusiastic Kid, to all of us. Of the Fantastic Foursome, (LINK)  he’s the youngest, maybe, by a couple of months to the one just older to him, but we have never let that fool us 😛 He’s an out and out LEO, for goodness’ sake!

When there are two/more Leos in a family, closely connected, sparks fly, tempers are tested, and bit of fur, metaphorically speaking, flies 🙂 That’s how it has been with him and I; strange though, that it has NOT been so, with him and his darling cousin (also a Leo, duh!) – but then you know how it is, exceptions and all that jazz… 😀

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Circa 2016, Achu and Kartika’s Kalyanam Purappaad 😛

(Stopped, perforce, on the morning of 3 August, due to power outage, depleted battery of the inverter, travel plans to Ezhimala, rushing from school to railway station, and lack of connectivity via computer at Ez.; also the company of grandotties don’t leave you time with anything other than being totally into play and joy 😛 Chots I know it’s going to be difficult to get that, but then there it is, my sincere apologies, for not being able to post this earlier 😀 Lubbbb ya, the most, you know that no? Pssst, don’t tell Naina 😛 ❤ ❤ ❤ )

Second Part, on 7 August, 2018 (my own pirannaal – പിറന്നാൾ – my ‘star’ birthday, so it is my gift, to me, as well ❤ )

I woke, a tad late, this morning, it being a holiday, to the music of the rain, the endless rain, and Ammini purring away by my side, gently digging her claws in, to remind me I’m late, with her breakfast 😀 Then my mother calls – Happy Perannaal, she says 😛 Felt good, that 🙂 Only she would remember, I thought 🙂 That’s what moms are all about, na? 

Like this one, who didn’t forget, though her time management skills are all awry, and she simply got late with it! She needs to revise hthe lessons her younger DIL gave her on incentivizing 😀 That loverrrly lass, who’s this Lion’s Keeper, pun entirely intended, gives the best lessons there are!

Back to this one 🙂 The one whose mane is glorious, especially when he needs a haircut, whose sensibilities and sensitivities are sharp, who’s as goofy and idiotic, as he’s mature and proactive 😀 Who knows how it is, with each person he meets, but knows too, how to go about using what he knows, when, and where 😀 That’s a lot of people skills, no? From a shy, overwhelmingly shy baby to one who is so comfortable with any and every kind of people, that is frikking huge, for me, as his rather once-upon-a-time-anxious mom 😀 The anxiety still remains, as it always will for us Indian Moms, but I know it has been tempered with the knowledge that he’s in a good place, and is diggin’ life, like literally and figuratively 😛 That is a private joke, between, Neeti and Chots and I 😀

Across the seas, and lands and latitudes that separate us into different hemispheres, I find we’re even closer than ever, not just because of technology at our fingertips, but because we’ve both grown each other up! I know he’ll always worry about me, as I do, about him and N., but then that’s a given, when you have a heart full of love, for someone, no? And so, this day, my pirannaal – പിറന്നാൾ, and this blog for his birthday/pirannaal – പിറന്നാൾ (interestingly for him, both the days came together on 3 August, his birthday! ) – let me just tell you once more, my wee cub, Chots, just how precious you are ….

We second borns are rather insecure, na? I share that too, with you 🙂 – but you are, Oh, you so are, all of my heart and some ❤ While you may now argue that it cannot be possible, considering the N sisters, 😀 , let me also tell you that hearts grow exponentially when there are more people to love, and love is never taken away from one loved one and given to another, instead, there is more love, all around 🙂 Yeah yeah yeah…  I can go on, I know, and we’ll still giggle when you say, ennaalum, you like Arjun more 😛 No comebacks this time, because I know, how it is, and you do too… ❤

Time and time again, you inspire me, do you know that? I talk of you so much, with so much pride, especially when I have to deal with parents who are lost, as far as their beloved kids are concerned. I speak of how you did almost everything by yourself; of how when you do step out of your comfort zone, and are given the support of loved ones, as you have been, nothing is impossible ❤

You motivate; you make me laugh like no one else can; you make me cry too, like no one else can 😛 (remember the WRV story, early this year? You and N really did move me!) ; and most of all, you make me want to be better, to do my own thing, to go out and just live… you show me, each new day, that it can be done!

Happy birthday, Chots! (no belated and all, it’s still 3 August, till the blog is published 😛 ) Thank you, for you – for the aplomb with which you do things, the badass you are, the chunkzz bro, the daredevil, the eggscelent son, the fun person, the gorgeous hunk, invigorating conversationalist you are, jealous sometimes, yes, but even, Kool Kat as well, Loveable Hobbes (you’re CAT today 😛 ), ‘Mazing Natty Osum Person, Questing, Raring to Storm hitherto strong bastions of ne’er Tried Impossibilities, Undulating never, but steady of purpose, Verrryyyy Wallabbbyyyy baby cuteness overloaded, Xtremely Youthful and Zany…. ever! The alphabets, as you can see have worn themselves out, for you, wishing you the very best! Nearly 1400 words of fun, I hope this has been!

I know your year is going to be the best yet! Stay awed by life and love, my darling Chots! I love you.

 

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With his mostest favourite person, I know ❤ N. Ammai ❤

 

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Circa 1991, my fav. pic of them brothers 🙂

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Circa 1993? The mischief grows!!

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Achante Kunjunni, Circa 1988, Delhi

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Cute-Gwumpiness Overload, Circa 1988

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That Fantastic Foursome!

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Nehru Park, that regular visit, with Chitta – My fav. pic of the fantastic foursome!

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Brothers, in all the ways there are.

 

Birthday Tradition Blog for the Second Born, Ashwin, for 3 August, 2018, is up, LATE, for the First Time. The Only Time, is my promise to myself. However, at the same time, I must say that some things just are so, for this, now is my gift to myself, and for him too ❤ That’s just how it is, sometimes ❤

2 August, 3 August, 7 August, 2018, for 3 August, 2018 😛

A few footnotes:

This one from here in 2012, and damn, that is what, 6 years back?! Woah. I am rather proud of myself, and will not hesitate to say it, today, for me 😛

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

Earlier (and later )Blog Tradition blogs for Ashwin, each year, are here 🙂

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

 


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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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I Know You’ll Dance…


(Lee Ann Womack’s beautiful song “I hope You’ll Dance”  is the inspiration for this title 🙂 The video is embedded at the end of this post, dedicated entirely to an awesome dancer, in the family! The one who never sat out a single dance in the course of his life. My second born. Ashwin.

The steel grey Gucci Suit Wala Dancer – Ashwin!

Royal in Blue 🙂 Ashwin!

This one, sweetheart, is just for you. The song, I know, was written with you in mind. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. This is getting to be really enjoyable, the build up each year, to 3 August; and I know this is one tradition I will keep, for as long as words allow themselves to be charmed into this space, for you. 🙂 🙂 Tradition. For this blog too! )

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

What can I say, or wish him, that I already have not? Would you believe, I can 😀 (Ah! and you thought, here she is, quite having run out of more words, will allow us to listen to that song, and be done wishing him! But oh no…!) Oh yes, I can! *gleeful, evil grin on her face, and she anticipates the dammed words waiting to break and flow* … pun intended! 😆

Boy oh Boy! Am I going to enjoy this! *lifts fingers from keyboard long enough to rub her hands in glee* 😀

So here goes… 🙂

Years before, as a timid, tiny lion cub, you always made me wonder how you’d find your feet. I know, NOW, I needn’t have worried! Your feline sense of balance would help you land, feet firmly on ground, steady as ever.

Today, I want to extract each memory, as if from a pensieve, each shimmering thought strand, playing out a favourite scene of you, of how you used to be, of how we used to be… 🙂 (I wish I had those photos too, to go with these threads :), but could only manage these mobile pictures of photographs from the old albums 🙂 )

Happy happy 🙂

Shmaille no, pleaaase?

You, Achukkutts…
… your grudging smile, reserved ONLY for family and Anu/Ani, the little girls from the ground floor of the barsati we lived in, in Delhi (Just look at you, above.. 😀 That is how you were most of time, till you turned about 2 and a half years old 😛 )

… of how you idolized your big brother, right from the beginning and how you fought so hard with him later; and how I’m accused even now ( 😆 ) of being partial 😛 😛

At NDA, for Arjun’s POP, Khadakwasla, Pune December, 2007! Love this picture 🙂

Awww… he would smile only for his family 🙂 proof here!

Stolen from Malu’s collection 🙂 The smiles were getting bigger and more uninhibited 🙂

Awww… 🙂

… of your reluctant, first, LATE baby step – so terrified of gravity – after having done EVERYTHING else in record time: turning over ALL by YOURSELF, in 2 months flat! IMAGINE!!! Never thought it would take you over a year to walk!

Achchante Kunjunni 🙂

… your charming smile; how everyone loved to see it; how hard they tried to make you, and how you just did NOT! 😀 Ask Chitta 🙂

… how once you discovered that smile, you showered it with so much joy on all and sundry, and how you still do… Padmaja Teacher (HOD, Social Science) refers to you even now as a “smiling baby” 😛 😛

… how you made friends slowly, and how they always were forever 😀

Ashwin, second from right, along with Abey, Praveen and Hrithu 🙂

Ashwin Shining 😀 From an Onam Celebration picture at College. Ashwin in the Centre 🙂

Abey’s farewell treat? Or Hrithu’s? Standing: Govind, Hrithu; Sitting: Pious, Ashwin, Abey and Cezil 🙂

…how you make friends so darned fast, these days 😀 😀

… your Gita Chanting feats, and “Sherwood”, that memorable year, when you wowed me with your recitation! I still wonder at it!!!

… that proud moment, when you and Lakshmi became Vikramsila House Captains, and more so, the jubilant moment, when your house was Champion House!!! Those were days!!!
…how we pored over those Hotel Management courses, and that online test for MS Ramaiah! R.O.F.L.

… and how you went and became an engineer, with the huge rank you had 😛 :P, with a course you wanted, in a college you wanted! Oh yes! you had your guardian angel watching over you. Still do 🙂 Achamma 🙂

…. and asking me if you could pierce your ears! High point. 😀

…. and announcing you found your soulmate… boy! was I jealous 😛 :P!!! Not anymore, dont worry, N!! 😀 😀

Soulmates 🙂

…and growing wings, trying them out, and sailing out, smooth and fluent, and free…. 🙂

I miss you. But I know you’ve gotta do what you gotta do, and be where you have to be 🙂 Life’s quirky ways. We know, don’t we, that’s the way we are, and no matter what you’ll always be the baby in my arms,

That tiny head, of the baby swathed in a pink wrap is YOU :D! At Viju’s wedding… all of 28 days 🙂

from twenty odd years ago, no matter you’re a hulking handsome young man now 🙂 🙂 Hugs, big huge bear hugs, my dearest!

Clicked by Govind? Classic Hunk 😀

Happy Birthday, Ashwin! You should be here, with me, considering this is the last bachelor party you’re going to have, for your birthday :D! May you be just as sweet, just as strong, just as fair, and just as loving, as you have always been. May God bless you and keep you safe, always. May you ever be loved, and may you always find love, in each and every moment of each day… especially when you’re down 🙂 May you always be in high spirits, and may the world take its cue from you, on how to be the best you can! I do love you so!

I do love you! Bear HUG 😀

And here it is finally:

“I hope you dance” by Lee Ann Womack 🙂

And another one, so so beautiful, it made my cry 🙂

My Wish” by Rascal Flatts

I found them both at this place 🙂

From 31 July to…1 August 2012
For 3 August, 2012.
Scheduled post 🙂


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When Nestlings Fly…


A flutter of wings when you did not seem to be sure
Was enough to set my feathers a-quiver 🙂

Peering out of the edge of the nest,
Beak on rim, wings spread,
Eyes faraway, you perched.

I watched.
And waited.
Knowing.

Though you did not.
Then.

And when the time was right,
And the wind blew quiet,
There you sailed, as if you knew
All along.

I knew, that you did.
But you had to know too!

And today you do…

As I watch, another one leave the nest!
Happy and proud,
To be a bit of that buoyant breeze
That has lifted and let you be.

The best you could ever be.

And yet…
You know, don’t you?

The best, my nestling, is yet to come!

Online 🙂
3 August, 2010

*****
Happy Birthday, Ash 🙂 And Congratulations!
For the wonder of an offspring, who found himself a job 🙂 🙂 Just been selected, but he will make it, I know 🙂
Congrats and best wishes for always, but always, dearest Ash 🙂 🙂