Archive for May, 2016


Weddings and things

May 23, 2016

The cousin’s wedding I last attended was a lot of fun. Despite my initial worries about how A would deal with a new place, lots of new faces and the general chaos that accompanies a wedding, it was great. Of course she was clingy and didn’t really leave my side for too long, but as long as she had that sense of security, she was really easy to be with. In the three days we spent there, I felt like I understood her a little more and fell in love a little more with the tiny person she is. In a nutshell, this is what she is like around new faces – You spend time to get to know me, you’ll be rewarded and I’ll respond to you. If you’re too in-my-face all the time, I’ll be forever scared of you and cry if you come close. If I like you, chances are that I’ll keep calling your name every time I see you ๐Ÿ™‚

The other thing that struck me was this amazing thing about my relatives. Some people always  show up at these weddings no matter what, no matter how far they’ve to travel. And I don’t mean just the first circle of relatives. An uncle from Canada, folks from Calcutta. More than anything, these are folks a who are 60, even 70+ years of age. Even folks who live closer, but someone who can’t walk without support, someone who’s just got out of the hospital a few days earlier. To make that journey that involves a train and then a bus just to be there at a wedding is quite splendid. I guess being around everyone just lifts spirits, so perhaps no journey is too long or hard. My own parents are no different, and I hope I’ll also be the same – someone who always shows up. For a happy occasion or even otherwise. 


Trains and Ammu’s first train ride

May 15, 2016

A couple of weeks back, we attending a family wedding near Mysore, and we were going by train. I was excited at the idea for two reasons – I love train journeys and I was eager for A to get to experience her first real train ride.

There’s something about train journeys that gives me a sense of time slowing down in a very real way. If your agenda for the next few hours is to just gaze out of the window, and occasionally go back to the book on your lap, taking a break every now and then to have tea, coffee, vade, and whatever else the hawkers are bringing around – this is frankly for me, is the life ๐Ÿ™‚ Every other frame when you look out the window is a picture postcard when you get out of the city. My fondest memories of train rides from my childhood (we’ve been from Bangalore to Bombay and Calcutta – 3-day journeys!) is that of curling up in the upper berth with a book, and finishing at least one book during the journey.

Yet, as I grew up, the idea of using the train toilets all but killed the romance of train journeys for me. I wonder if as a child I was having too much fun to let the toilets ย bother me, or I just didn’t know better. Besides, when we could afford to drive or take a flight, we chose comfort and convenience, obviously. Trips became more about the destination, than the journey. Which was our loss, really.

So how did A enjoy her first train ride? Not too much at first, since we were a bunch of 28 travelling together. She has a high level of stranger anxiety and these were all relatively new people for her. She hated being fussed over in the first one hour and kept wanting to go home. But gradually, as everyone settled down and she settled down and made new friends, she was quite happy to sit on the window ledge and gaze out of the window.

On the return journey we were a smaller bunch and it was a second class sleeper coach, and she seemed to really enjoy the three hour journey that turned into five because of delays. She had her fill of Maddur vade, churmuri and badam milk. ย There was a lovely breeze blowing and it seemed like it was going to rain. The window seat was perfect. She fell asleep on my lap, looking out of the window.

When she woke up, I wanted to rest my back for a bit. She quite happily went to my Dad’s lap and I went to the upper berth and curled up with my book (well, the Kindle app on the phone, but hey) and drifted off. Bliss.

When I looked down a couple of times, I saw A sitting with my Dad and Mom quite happily, and the sight melted my heart.

This trip has re-kindled my love for train journeys. I’m keen on taking A on lots of them. We’ll learn to deal with the loos, I’m sure. Window seats, wind in the hair and endless supply of train food, here we come ๐Ÿ™‚


Hello (no, not THAT song)

May 9, 2016

You’ve become so thin! Dieting?

Why is she so thin? Doesn’t she eat properly?

What happened to your hair? So grey! Why don’t you colour it?

She’s become a little dark! Why?

What is this? You’re wearing *this* to the reception?! (This, just after I told you that you’re looking great.)

Why hello, Indian relative, it’s great to meet you too!


Conversations – 1

May 8, 2016

Not quite 2 years old yet. (21 months, if I’ve to be specific.) So much chatter already! In cabs that are one-hour long, if she isn’t asleep, she is making a song out of the most random phrases (making the driver laugh) or asking me over and over and over again where X, Y, Z and their aunt went. And I keep repeating my answers. Until she comes up with a new explanation herself and then finally stops asking me.

When I want to playfully dismiss a request of A’s or respond when she deliberately sees the pic of a cow and calls it an elephant, I respond with a dramatic, ‘Ei, GOYYA’ and she giggles. 

I find a plastic token in my bag from a bank we visited the other day. A was playing with it and it somehow ended up in my bag. When I fish it out of the bag, A takes it and –

A: ‘What is this?’

Me: (in Tamil) ‘It’s a token from the bank we went to. You stole it and brought it home. ‘

A: Looks at me, eyes twinkling, smile on her face,  ‘Ei, GOYYA!’


We’re getting ready to leave to go some place. As usual A is dawdling and trying very hard to not get ready. I’ve put on her frock but she doesn’t want me to button her up. 

A: ‘Button beda’

Me: ‘Okay, fine.’

After a few seconds,

A: ‘Buttons beka’ 

(Reverse psychology usually works. And she still says beka for beku. Literally, she says ‘Do you want’ instead of ‘I want’ :-))

Me: But you said you don’t want me to button you up?

A: ‘Sorry’


I’m about to nurse her to sleep, and we’re talking.

Me: Who’s my cupcake?

A: Ammu

Me: Who’s my gundu? (don’t judge, we call her ALL sorts of things)

A: Ammu

Me: Who’s my piggy?

A: Ammu

(At the risk of getting sued by her if and when she grows up and reads this and gets embarrassed, I’m not listing the other 5-6 names I called her)

When we’re done going through the entire list of names I call her, she nurses for five minutes. She then lets go, and says,

‘Daying baby’

Me: Huh? Ohh that’s right, I forgot ! Who’s my darling baby?

A: Ammu.

Again, she nurses for a bit and then chimes in,

‘Punping pie’ (pumpkin pie)

While I would’ve even forgotten what we were talking about five minutes back, it’s amazing to see how she’s processing all that we spoke about and then waits to bring it up as soon as she’s ready to talk ๐Ÿ™‚

Every once in a while, I ask A for a hug and every once in a blue moon she obliges. And I make sure I thank her when she hugs me. I usually say, ‘Thank you, sweetie pie!’

The other day, maybe the planets aligned or something, cos she asked me for a hug, arms outstretched. For the first time. I beamed and gave her a hug. She promptly responded,

‘Thankoo sweepie!’