A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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An Ingénue and The Kurumbi

…that’s her. French frills, Malayalee goondaaism and a healthy dose of Bhopali Bindaas! Who else, but the resident whirlwind of a wisp of a lass, Naira, who celebrates her birthday today!

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Last year, I missed all the major ones, with the wee sprites. This year, it was almost a hit and miss, but I got in, just in the nick of time with the Senior N. (here) and here I am, with the one for the Junior N.

Naina is the Senior, and Naira the Junior. Naina is all Princess, Perspicacious, Precocious and Naira is all action, tornado, and unstoppable, in the same years that Naina went through!

Their father, Arjun, my first born, the Sun Child, as I call him (Link) was a tiny roller coaster of a child growing up – this one, Naira, his second born, is definitely his alter ego of those days!

A charmer, these days, she’s had her own schedule of doing things, and once she decided she would, she wasted no time getting totally into it! First, it was turning over on her tummy, then getting up on fours, walking, putting out her first teeth… she’s been on her own clock.

The last time I saw her and hugged her, she was getting the hang of words (she took the longest time to say something she could anyway, just to tease me – the word being Ammummaaa! ) That was the last week of February. These days we meet virtually, and she delights me with her string of words, complete sentences… all with the Naira-only-attachment at the end of it all .. alle. So, it’s ice-cream-alle, or doo-dooo-alle… much like Marathi, I do believe 😀

But yes, almost three months without meeting me, she still hasn’t forgotten her Ammummaaa… and gives me a replica of toothy grin that I give her, proceeding thereafter to make faces, which I mimic! This year’s birthdays, of both my N grandotties, I have missed being there, but yes, knowing they are comfortable, safe and healthy is enough celebration, in these uncertain and trying times!

Her mother usually calls out for her, when I ask for her, saying “Mashuuuu…. Ammumma alle, come come….” She runs to the phone. On the other hand, the older one is more sedate and full of news about how the Corona virus will go after 17 May, which, incidentally, is tomorrow no? Sigh!

What’s your name? I ask little N. And she gives me her look and says Maashuuuu… (there’s a back story to this – and you’ll understand only if you have seen Masha and the Bear, a Russian cartoon strip about this tiny girl, wearing a headscarf, and the lovable bear who cares for her, and puts up with all of her mischief! Masha became Mashuuu… given her predilection for Masha-like feats and naughtiness 😛 Oh my, she’s the best goonda ever!

Last year she was two, and this was written nearly three months later:

Ingénue, or The Kurumbi

Makes you think of this lovely lass,

Full of sass, interesting, errr, unpredictable?

Well that’s who she is, both innocent, and a goonda

The one, THE one, who has us all, going awwww…

Or O M G, get herrrrrrrr…. before she… errr

The air is then suddenly filled with any of these…

Silence, shrieking, or laughter of the open mouthed variety!

 

That, dear folks, is Naira, who’s two this May (2019)

Who this blog has introduced last year, on time

And this year, came by a tad late… The rambler

That wacky soul, here, was overwhelmed, up against

A mountain of stuff, that’s her excuse,

But glad all the same, that she’s here this day,

Having climbed that mountain, and let the forest

Of possibilities be, no weeding out, only growing

And moving onwards, inspired by this grandottie of hers

 

Naira. That Shining Soul. That unputdownable Sprite.

The one whose whole self lights up her soul

In the sudden smiles she gifts, and the (now)

Ammummmaaaaaa, mmmuuummmmaaaa

She bestows. She’s that rather happy, delighted

Delightful soul, who’s been given that space and love

To be who she is. Just who she is.

And my wish is just that…

A ton of blessings, prayers, charmed spells and flights of fancy, all the light and love to make a year of the most precious things glow steadfast in your memory, my dearest darling! My dearestest Goonda, my Nairakutty – Happy wala birthday to you!

3 August, for 16 May, 2019

Her First Birthday Blog

2018: https://ushus.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/one-and-the-show-has-just-begun/ 


I wish I could give you that squishy hug right now, and tell you how much I love you Nairakutty! I miss seeing you go … Ammumma, nam nam alle… and phone alle… and Dancey dancey alle… I love you baby! Stay blessed and and awesome as your sister and parents! Mwaaaahhhh!!!

 

16 May, 2020

 

 


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Five and Six…

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

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

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

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


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

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Her Fifth Birthday – A very Woke One!

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

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

28 March, 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contd., on 2 August, 2019

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

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

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

God bless, always!

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

For 2019 and 2020

I love you 3000 my darlingest Naina! 

Her Birthday blogs:

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

This one is FIVE and SIX

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“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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Of Thresholds and Liminals

Thresholds and liminals are but a medium, in the onward journey, or a portkey to the past.

A warm afternoon in December, 2010 comes to mind. Meeting her, and her parents, at their home. Being charmed, enchanted, if you wish! That is how I’d describe that day. That has been the first of days, months, and years of knowing this precious girl. She’s the steady and still point of his world, one that is inhabited by tapestry of togetherness woven with tangible colours and moments over the years they’ve been together.

Even now, successfully settled with her partner, she is that proactive, perennial source of inspiration and person-to-look-up-to, for me. I guess there is a word for it, but my addled brain refuses to discover it! No matter, because what matters is here, an expression of what is in my heart!

I’ll probably be kicked for this, in royal style, by her partner, my son, but I must say that it must feel special to be that age your date tells you that you are. 😀 Be that as it may, all I want to say is that age, finally is a number, a number that has nothing to do with how young one shall ever be!

On Vishu, while on a call with them, I asked them what they wanted as Vishukaineettam. Ash had his request, pat, a Mridangam (which, lately, he has acquired, thankfully!) and I said Okay; Neeti on the other hand, said Ma you come here, that is all I want! Dawwwwww, so lovely of her no? And I said okay, here I come, for by the next weekend I had planned to get there! A lovely two weeks ensued there at Sydney with them. A lovely delightful time! Watching them together was comforting, and at the same time, a lesson for me. I rather like how supportive they are of each other, and how (I’ve said this ever so many times!! 😀 ) Neeti has got the Lion quite by the tail, successfully! 😛 He can roar, growl, whatever. She remains cool, and able to restore that sensibility, sensitivity and common sense, to both of us 😀 I’m waiting to get back there, as soon as is permissible, pocket wise, and leave-wise 😀

Neeti, my dearest DIL celebrates her birthday today. The today that is already in Sydney, which is almost five hours ahead of us in Kerala! She and Ash have already been to a Trevor Noah live show there, and I am jealous as hell, while, at the same time so danged happy he turned up just in time to help them celebrate a wonderful day! Also a double whammy it be, since her Lunar calendar (Malayalam birthday we call it – according to the Rashi and the nakshatram) birthday coincides with her ‘English’ Birthday! Lovely, na?

So, my darling gurl, my goo’gurl, Neetikutty, here’s wishing you a fabulous day, and a fantastic year ahead, that, will, most certainly, be memorable, for that is waiting for you. I’ve a song for you – and please do take it for the lovely lyrics; it so happened that the visuals are just so… No pressure, pliss to understand 😛

Keep on Lovin’ you…

Love you, sweetheart. Stay blessed and awed and awe inspiring, as you always have been, to me!

 

30 August, 2018

Neeti’s Birthday posts, over the years: (I wonder where the 2014 post is, though :/ )

2013 https://ushus.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/the-queen-of-his-heart/

2015 https://ushus.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/a-goooo-gurl-she-is/

2016 https://ushus.wordpress.com/2016/08/29/that-virgo-woman/

2017 https://ushus.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/these-are-a-few-of-my-favourite-things/


Happy birthday also to two lovely lasses I have had the privilege to know 🙂

The first is Keerthy, Arjun’s classmate, and buddy! Hope you have a great day and year ahead, dearest Keerthy!

Uma, you’re also wished a beautiful cloud fluffy joyful day, where you get to spend some precious time with loved ones and happiness, good health, to last you through the year!

Hugs to both of you!


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One, and the Show Has Just Begun!

Exactly a year ago, round about this time (1120 ish pm 🙂 ) the twinges started. She stayed put though. Just tiny stirrings, but nothing to heave about 😛 Till the next morning when it was confirmed that she was getting into the groove 😀 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 🙂

SHE showed up. We were ALL very certain, that it would be a HE,  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 be HE. Plus a certain calculation of the appearance of the Momma. I’ve never been wrong. Oh wait! I have, I have. Just once before. With my own 😛 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 😛 Some miscalculation there! 😀

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 😀

So, yeah, this one, this ONE (hint hint hint 😀 ) was as cool as they come. Except that babies don’t come cool 🙂 Not in the height of summer. But darling Naira, to whom this blog is dedicated, was/is a pretty cool customer 🙂 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 🙂

Like her mother, and her paternal grandmother (as babies 😛 ), 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 🙂

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 😛 ) My second born would agree, as would Naira’s mom. 😛 We 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’re sweet 😀

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 others  – particularly her maternal grandmom 😀 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? 😛 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 😀 But once she found out about the pace she could use, there has been no stopping her 🙂 She also decided to show a couple of teeth, finally, so that all that murmuring around her would cease 😀

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. 🙂

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 🙂

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 ❤ 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 ❤

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

16 May, 2018